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Hairy leukoplakia

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Q&A: What is “hairy leukoplakia”? Is it potentially malignant?

Author: Sanketh DS, MDS

Oral hairy leukoplakia(OHL), first reported by Greenspan in 1984, is a white corrugated lesion primarily affecting the lateral borders of the tongue. It is seen in patients with severe immunosuppression, especially in those infected with HIV. OHL is caused by replication and spread of Epstein-Barr virus in the stratum spinosum and granulosum layers of the oral mucosal epithelium.

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