Objective. The characteristics of oral lichen planus (OLP) provoke investigators to explore possible biomarkers by which to monitor disease activity and therapeutic efficacy. Oral fluids may provide an accessible medium for analysis of such biomarkers. Previous studies have shown that activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κ B) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of oral lichen planus (OLP), which is a chronic inflammatory disorder mediated by T cells. Prior to the present investigation, reports of the levels of NF-κ B and its dependent cytokines in oral fluids have not been forthcoming. The purpose of this study was to detect the level of NF-κ B dependent cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 in tissue transudates directly from lesions of OLP, and explore the feasibility of the data for clinical application. Study design. Thirteen definitively diagnosed OLP subjects were enrolled in the study as were 13 age-sex matched controls. In each subject, lesion tissue transudates (TTs) were collected by a novel collection technique with a filter paper. The level of cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 in three types of oral fluids were determined by ELISA. Results. In the tissue transudate(TT), there were significantly higher level of cytokines TNF-alpha, IL-1-alpha, IL-6, and IL-8 detected in OLP patients than in controls: (TT: 40.0±9.8 versus 4.5±0.7, 710±114 versus 305±78, 150±25 versus 1.7±0.5, 2800±260 versus 1450±130, P<.0001; unit: pg/mL). Conclusions. These results indicate that NF-κ B dependent inflammatory cytokines may be detected at increased levels in oral lesion tissue transudates which may have diagnostic and prognostic potentials for monitoring disease activity and making therapeutic decisions in patients with OLP.