Oral cavity & oropharynx

Potentially malignant & dysplasia

Oral submucosal fibrosis

Topic Completed: 1 March 2013

Minor changes: 1 April 2021

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PubMed Search: Oral submucosal fibrosis[TIAB]

Charu Thakral, M.D.
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Cite this page: Thakral C. Oral submucosal fibrosis. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavityoralsubmucosalfibrosis.html. Accessed December 8th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Mainly in India and Pakistan due to smokeless tobacco / chewing of betel quid
  • Reactive but risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma
  • Early lesions show blanching, mottled, marble-like appearance; later fibrous bands lead to stiffness, restricting ability to open mouth (trismus)
  • Buccal mucosa, lips, retromolar areas, soft palate
Case reports
  • None, irreversible once it develops
  • Cessation of quid chewing reduces risk of oral cancer but fibrosis is not altered
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Blanching and fibrosis

With verrucous leukoplakia

38 year old man:
preoperative, after suturing graft and 1 year followup

10 year old boy:
difficulty in mouth opening

12 year old girl:
shrunken uvula, pretreatment and posttreatment

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Subepithelial fibrosis, chronic inflammation, often with eosinophils, hyalinization and loss of vascularity
  • Overlying epithelium is atrophic or hyperplastic and hyperkeratotic
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Dense fibrosis


Differential diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis
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