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Rivista di Medicina Interna
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Panminerva Medica 2002 Giugno;44(2):159-61
Malacoplakia of the tongue. A case report and review of the literature
Carbone M., Carrozzo M., Pentenero M., Gandolfo S.
From the Department of Clinical Physiopathology, Oral Medicine Section, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
Our aim is to present a singular case of malacoplakia of the tongue and a review of the literature. Malacoplakia (from the Greek “malacos”, soft, and “placos”, plaque) is a granulomatosis initially described in 1902. It has the clinical aspect of a yellow-brown, soft plaque of variable size, characterized by a central navel or ulcer and an intense peripheral hyperaemia, usually located in the urogenital and gastrointestinal tract. The mortality rate is higher than 50% if vital organs are involved. In the world literature there are 16 cases of the head and neck region and particularly only 2 of them are located on the tongue. In these 2 cases the lesion caused some distress to the patients who referred to a medical observation for this motive. Conversely we report a case of asymptomatic lingual malacoplakia occurring in a 57-year-old woman, diagnosed by chance during a stomatological examination in the Department of Oral Medicine and Periodontology of Turin University. In this case the outcome was quite plain and our patient did not need any supporting medical therapy. Nevertheless the potential danger of malacoplakia should underline the importance of a more careful histological assessment of submucosal nodules of the oro-pharyngeal region. Moreover the histopathological characteristic, the present etiopathogenetic hypothesis and the therapeutic pattern of malacoplakia suggested in the literature are discussed.