Oral cavity & oropharynx
Hairy leukoplakia

Topic Completed: 1 August 2012

Revised: 30 January 2019

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PubMed Search: Hairy leukoplakia[TI] oral cavity

Patricia DeVilliers D.D.S., M.S.
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Cite this page: DeVilliers P Hairy leukoplakia. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavityhairyleukoplakia.html. Accessed August 12th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • White, confluent patches of fluffy (hairy) mucosa, bilateral, along lateral tongue
  • Associated with HIV+ patients (AIDS may appear within 2 - 3 years) but actually due to EBV infection
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Hyperkeratotic oral mucosa due to piling of keratotic squamous epithelium
  • Cowdry type A intranuclear inclusions
  • Balloon cells with margination of chromatin (nuclear beading); EBV present in clear cells of spinous layer
  • Variable koilocytosis, superimposed Candida infection, without inflammatory response
Electron microscopy description
  • Herpes type virions
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