Oral hairy leukoplakia in HIV-negative patients: Report of 10 cases

Evangelia Piperi, Jessica Omlie, Ioannis George Koutlas, Stefan Pambuccian

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31 Scopus citations


Ten cases of oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL) in HIV- negative patients are presented. Eight of the 10 patients were on steroid treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 1 patient was on prednisone as part of a therapeutic regimen for gastrointestinal stromal tumor, and 1 patient did not have any history of immunosuppression. There were 5 men and 5 women, ages 32-79, with mean age being 61.8 years. Nine out of 10 lesions were located unilaterally on the tongue, whereas 1 lesion was located at the junction of the hard and soft palate. All lesions were described as painless, corrugated, nonremovable white plaques (leukoplakias). Histologic features were consistent with Epstein-Barr virus-associated hyperkeratosis suggestive of OHL, and confirmatory in situ hybridization was performed in all cases. Candida hyphae and spores were present in 8 cases. Pathologists should be aware of OHL presenting not only in HIV-positive and HIV-negative organ transplant recipients but also in patients receiving steroid treatment, and more important, certain histologic features should raise suspicion for such diagnosis without prior knowledge of immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Corticosteroids
  • HIV-negative patients
  • Immunosuppression
  • Inhalers
  • Oral hairy leukoplakia


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