Oral cavity
Inflammatory (noninfectious) lesions
Geographic tongue

Author: Charu Thakral, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 17 April 2018, last major update February 2013

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Geographic tongue[TIAB] oral cavity

Cite this page: Thakral, C. Geographic tongue. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavitygeographictongue.html. Accessed August 16th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Inflammatory disorder characterized by asymptomatic erythematous patches with serpiginous borders
  • Local loss of filiform papillae leads to ulcer-like lesions that rapidly change color and size
  • Associated with common cold, work / home stress
  • Associated with tongue fissures
Terminology
  • Also called benign migratory glossitis, glossitis migrans
Epidemiology
  • 1 - 2% of population, usually adults
Case reports
Treatment
  • Usually none in asympomatic patients
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Before and after therapy

Before and after therapy

Geographic tongue

Gross description
  • Erythematous flat zone on tongue dorsum due to loss of filiform papillae
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Acanthosis with neutrophils throughout epithelium and surface microabscesses, plus inflammatory infiltrate in lamina propria
  • Resembles psoriasis
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Psoriform epidermal hypertrophy