• 5/29/2006
  • London, England
  • Roosaar A, Yin L et al.
  • British Dental Journal (2006); 200, 563

The natural course appeared benign in the great majority of lesions in this cohort.

Oral lichen planus (OLP) is classed as a precancerous condition, but there is conflicting evidence on this matter from different studies. In 1973-4, subjects were investigated for oral mucosal lesions in a Swedish county, and a cohort of 327 with oral lichen lesions (OLLs) was identified. (In 1973-4, no distinction was made between OLP and oral lichenoid reaction, so the two categories were combined as OLL in this study.)

In 1993-4, a sample of 80 subjects still living in the area was selected from the remaining 194, and 55 of them were re-examined. In this sample, 14 of 36 initial white lesions had resolved, while 4 had turned to red lesions. In 19 red lesions, 5 had resolved, and 4 had turned white. No malignancies were observed.

For the whole cohort, in 2002, incidence of specified cancers (SIRs) and mortality from all and specific causes (SMRs) was identified from the excellent Swedish registries, and none was significantly elevated. The authors consider that OLLs carry a low risk of harm.

J Oral Pathol Med 2006; 35: 257-261

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