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Morphological characteristics of microcirculation in oral lichen planus involving the lateral border of the tongue.


Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic mucosal condition commonly encountered in dental practice. Lichen planus is believed to represent an abnormal immune response in which epithelial cells are recognized as foreign, secondary to changes in the antigenicity of the cell surface. It has various oral manifestations. The aim of the study was to evaluate the morphological characteristics of microcirculation of lingual lichen planus (LLP). Twenty patients (10 patients with LLP and 10 healthy patients) were examined by means of videocapillaroscopy. The left margin of the lingual mucosa was examined in each patient. The capillary loop length, loop diameter, and capillary density were analyzed on every capillaroscopic image. The results obtained using videocapillaroscopic software were subjected to statistical analysis. The density, loop length, and total diameter showed statistically significant differences. A remarkable increase in capillary density was shown. The microcirculation of LLP can be studied "in vivo" with the help of videocapillaroscopy, and it could be an indicator of the evolutionary condition of LLP, useful for the evaluation of the evolution or regression phases of the disease.