Oral cavity & oropharynx

Inflammatory / immune mediated (noninfectious)

Erythema multiforme

Topic Completed: 1 March 2013

Minor changes: 12 October 2020

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PubMed Search: Erythema multiforme[TI] oral[TIAB]

Charu Thakral, M.D.
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Cite this page: Thakral C. Erythema multiforme. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavityerythemamultiforme.html. Accessed December 8th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Part of spectrum of reactive mucocutaneous disorders with maculopapular vesiculobulbous eruptions that includes erythema multiforme (EM - minor and major), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS, if more mucosal involvement and epidermal necrosis) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)
  • Due to cancer, collagen vascular disorder, drugs, infection
  • Oral erythema multiforme: variant with only oral lesions and no skin involvement
Case reports
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

21 year old woman:
irregular lip uclerations and buccal mucosal

23 year old woman:
palatal ulcerations

40 year old man:
hemorrhagic bullae and target lesions

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Necrotic keratinocytes, spongiosis, basal layer liquefaction, dermal edema, perivascular or interface lymphocytes
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