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a disease marked by the development of white thickened patches on the mucous membranes of the cheeks (leukoplakia buccalis), gums, or tongue (leukoplakia lingualis); the patches sometimes form fissures and often become malignant. They may grow into larger patches or form ulcers. Those in the mouth may in time cause pain during swallowing of food or speaking. Leukoplakia affects mostly middle-aged to elderly men, often after prolonged irritation of the mouth from such varying factors as badly fitting dentures or immoderate use of tobacco.

Treatment is aimed at removing any possible cause of physical or chemical irritation; the patient should give up tobacco and possibly also alcohol and extremely hot food. Dental attention may be necessary if teeth are uneven or dentures do not fit properly. Surgical removal of the affected area is relatively simple and may be the best means of preventing further development of the condition.
oral hairy leukoplakia a white filiform to flat patch occurring on the tongue or, rarely, on the buccal mucosa, caused by infection with Epstein-Barr virus and associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection.
leukoplakia vul´vae the presence of hypertrophic grayish-white infiltrated patches on the vulvar mucosa; specific diagnosis is determined by biopsy.


A white patch of oral or female genital mucous membrane that cannot be wiped off and cannot be diagnosed clinically as any specific disease entity; in current usage, a clinical term without histologic connotation.
Synonym(s): smoker's patches
[leuko- + G. plax, plate]


/leu·ko·pla·kia/ (-pla´ke-ah)
1. a white patch on a mucous membrane that will not rub off.

atrophic leukoplakia  lichen sclerosus in females.
oral leukoplakia  white, thick patches on the oral mucosa due to hyperkeratosis of the epithelium, producing favorable conditions for development of epidermoid carcinoma; often occurring on the cheeks (l. bucca´lis), gums, or tongue (l. lingua´lis) .
oral hairy leukoplakia  a white filiform to flat patch on the tongue or the buccal mucosa, caused by infection with Epstein-Barr virus and associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection.
leukoplakia vul´vae 
1. lichen sclerosus in females.
2. any white-appearing lesion of the vulva.


(lo͞o′kə-plā′kē-ə) also


An abnormal condition characterized by white spots or patches on mucous membranes, especially of the mouth and vulva. Also called leukoplasia.


Etymology: Gk, leukos + plakos, plate
a precancerous, slowly developing change in a mucous membrane characterized by thickened, white, firmly attached patches that are slightly raised and sharply circumscribed. They may occur on the penis or vulva. Those appearing on the lips and buccal mucosa are associated with pipe smoking. Malignant potential is evaluated by microscopic study of biopsied tissue. Compare lichen planus. See also lichen sclerosis et atrophicus.
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leukoplakia (vulvar)

Chronic vulvar dystrophy, see there.  

The term leukoplakia continues to be widely used (incorrectly) in the working gynaecological parlance; the error lies in that the term leukoplakia merely refers to the macroscopic appearance of white patches in the postmenopausal vulva, which most commonly correspond to hyper- or parakeratosis and far less commonly to carcinoma in situ or Paget's disease. The portent of vulvar leukoplakia is thus in sharp contrast to oral leukoplakia, which is generally regarded as a pre-malignant lesion.


A potentially precancerous white patch or plaque on a mucosa characterized by epithelial hyperplasia and hyperkeratosis, often caused by chronic irritation; leukoplakia–LP affects the mucosa of oral cavity, upper respiratory tract, vulva, uterine cervix, renal pelvis, urinary bladder; in each site, the significance differs ENT Smoker's keratosis A white plaque or patch on the oral mucosa. See Hairy leukoplakia Ob/Gyn A white plaque or patch on the vaginal mucosa, seen without magnification or acetic acid, and often elevated from surrounding surfaces with a sharp border and Lugol's non-staining Histology Hyperkeratosis, possibly epithelial proliferation. See Speckled leukoplakia.


A white patch of oral mucous membrane that cannot be wiped off and cannot be diagnosed clinically; the spots are smooth, irregular in size and shape, hard, and occasionally fissured. Often associated with pipe smoking. Biopsy may show malignant or premalignant changes.
Synonym(s): leucoplakia.
[leuko- + G. plax, plate]


(loo?ko-pla'ke-a) [ leuko- + Gr. plax, plate + -ia]
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Formation of white spots or patches on the mucous membrane of the tongue or cheek. The spots are smooth, irregular in size and shape, hard, and occasionally fissured. The lesions may become malignant. Synonym: leukokoria; leukoplasia; smoker's tongue See: illustration

leukoplakia buccalis

Leukoplakia of the mucosa of the cheek.
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oral hairy leukoplakia

Leukoplakia of the tongue. It is typically found in immunocompromised patients is a result of Epstein-Barr virus infection.

leukoplakia vulvae

Lichen sclerosis et atrophicus.


A thickened white patch occurring on a mucous membrane, especially inside the mouth, on the lips or on the female genitalia. Leukoplakia is a response to long-term irritation and is a PRECANCEROUS condition that should never be ignored.

leukoplakia (lōō·kō·plaˑ·kē·),

n plaque like white lesion that develops in the oral mucosa. Typically a sign of bodily irritation in response to cigarette smoke or tobacco chewing. In 10% of cases, these lesions are considered precancerous.
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White patch of oral or female genital mucous membrane that cannot be wiped off and cannot be diagnosed clinically as any specific disease entity; in current usage, no histologic connotation.
Synonym(s): leucoplakia.
[leuko- + G. plax, plate]

leukoplakia (loo´kōplā´kēə),

n a white plaque formed on the oral mucosa from surface epithelial cells with an unknown etiology. It is leathery, opaque, and somewhat thickened. Excluded from this are the white lesions of lichen planus, white sponge nevus, burns, thrush, and other clinically recognizable entities. Histologically, hyperkeratosis, acanthosis, and subepithelial and perivascular infiltrate of round cells may be seen. Dyskeratosis may be present. These lesions may progress to malignancy, with cellular atypicism, dyskeratosis, epithelial pearl formation, and infiltration of malignant cells into connective tissue. See also dyskeratosis; hyperkeratosis.
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leukoplakia, hairy,
n a white lesion appearing on the lateral surface of the tongue and occasionally on the buccal mucosa of patients with AIDS. The lesion appears raised, with a corrugated or “hairy” surface as a result of keratin projections.
References in periodicals archive ?
16 Other nature-sourced agents such as vitamin A and beta-carotene (BC) all produced significantly more objective responses than did placebo in randomised studies in oral leukoplakia patients.
Oral leukoplakia and other white lesions of the oral mucosa related to dermatological disorders.
But even with treatment, oral leukoplakia may recur and is a condition that needs to be monitored regularly.
Malignant transformation of oral leukoplakia: a followup study of a hospital-based population of 166 patients with oral leukoplakia from The Netherlands.
Paan may contain smokeless tobacco that can cause discoloration of teeth, oral submucous fibrosis and/or oral leukoplakias.
Patients with oral leukoplakia, oral submucous fibrosis or lichen planus, and healthy individuals (n = 25 for each group) aged 17-50 years were selected.
It's also good for premalignant epithelial targets such as actinic keratoses, actinic cheilitis, vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia, and oral leukoplakia," he said.
Elevated MDA level have been reported in oral leukoplakia, cancer and periodontitis [8,9].
Six years later he developed oral leukoplakia, resulting in a diagnosis of AIDS.
She discussed an ongoing study of 82 patients with oral leukoplakia who underwent micronuclei and chromosomal assays and then were treated with 4-5 cups a day of black tea daily for 1 year (J.
Its industrial application, however, had been greatly reduced as sanguinarine was reported to be associated with oral leukoplakia (Mascarenhas et al.