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Malacoplakia of the tongue. A case report and review of the literature

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Marco Carrozzo


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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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carrozzo M; Carbone M; Pentenero M; Gandolfo S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Panminerva Medica

Year: 2002

Volume: 44

Issue: 2

Pages: 159-161

ISSN (print): 0031-0808

ISSN (electronic): 1827-1898

Publisher: Edizioni Minerva Medica


Notes: Case Reports Journal Article Review