Diagnosis of oral lichen planus: a position paper of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology

Yi Shing Lisa Cheng, Alan Gould, Zoya Kurago, John Fantasia, Susan Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

302 Scopus citations


Despite being one of the most common oral mucosal diseases and recognized as early as 1866, oral lichen planus (OLP) is still a disease without a clear etiology or pathogenesis, and with uncertain premalignant potential. More research is urgently needed; however, the research material must be based on an accurate diagnosis. Accurate identification of OLP is often challenging, mandating inclusion of clinico-pathological correlation in the diagnostic process. This article summarizes current knowledge regarding OLP, discusses the challenges of making an accurate diagnosis, and proposes a new set of diagnostic criteria upon which to base future research studies. A checklist is also recommended for clinicians to provide specific information to pathologists when submitting biopsy material. The diagnostic process of OLP requires continued clinical follow-up after initial biopsy, because OLP mimics can manifest, necessitating an additional biopsy for direct immunofluorescence study and/or histopathological evaluation in order to reach a final diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-354
Number of pages23
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dentistry (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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