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Derm News: 2007.17(7)

Oral Lichen Planus: A Case Series With Emphasis on Therapy

Archives of Dermatology, 143(4):511-515
Dorothea C. Torti, Joseph L. Jorizzo, Martha Ann McCarty
ABSTRACT

Background

Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can cause local irritation and discomfort with attendant poor dentition and nutrition. Although a range of therapeutic options is available, data on the long-term efficacy of treatments for this chronic disease are limited. To identify agents that might be effective in OLP treatment over a longer term, and to explore their sequential use in treatment-refractory patients, we studied patients who received multiple OLP therapies and who were followed up for an average of more than 2 years.

Observations

We performed a retrospective medical record review of 50 patients with histologically confirmed OLP. Patients were treated according to a therapeutic ladder of sequential treatments, beginning with topical corticosteroids and progressing through topical immunomodulators, systemic retinoids, methotrexate, and thalidomide. The best responses were observed in previously untreated patients. Most patients eventually achieved a substantial response with limited toxic effects.

Conclusions

Our results identify low-dose methotrexate as an agent with substantial activity in OLP. We also demonstrate that a laddered therapeutic approach to patients with this disease can achieve substantial lesion regression even in heavily pretreated and treatment-refractory patients.


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The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.