What is the role of lab tests in the workup of hairy leukoplakia?

Updated: Aug 05, 2019
  • Author: James E Cade, DDS; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD  more...
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In most cases of oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL), the diagnosis is established on clinical basis, while a definitive diagnosis requires both an appropriate histopathological appearance and the demonstration of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA, RNA, or protein within the epithelial cells of the lesion.

Several immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization kits are commercially available for this purpose. [23] Tissue biopsy is indicated only if the lesions are unusual in appearance or ulcerated and suggest cancer.

Oral hairy leukoplakia may occur when CD4 counts are 200-300 cells/µL or lower. [24]

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