Oral cavity & oropharynx
Inflammatory (noninfectious)
Geographic tongue


Topic Completed: 1 February 2013

Minor changes: 2 March 2020

Copyright: 2002-2020, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Geographic tongue[TIAB] oral cavity

Charu Thakral, M.D.
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Cite this page: Thakral C. Geographic tongue. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavitygeographictongue.html. Accessed August 14th, 2020.
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

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