The Profile of Hematinic Deficiencies in Patients With Oral Lichen Planus

A Case-control Study

Zhe-xuan Bao; Xiao-wen Yang; Jing Shi; Yu-feng Wang


BMC Oral Health. 2020;20(252) 

In This Article


Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a relatively common mucocutaneous disorder that affects 1 to 2% of the population, including mainly middle-aged adults, with a slight female predilection.[1,2] It is widely accepted that OLP is an immune-related disorder, in which aberrant T-lymphocytes might play a vital role in its pathogenesis.[1,3] Although abundant studies have been carried out, the exact causative factors and underlying pathogenesis of OLP are not fully understood and require further investigation.[1–3]

Iron, folate and vitamin B12 deficiency are the most common hematinic deficiencies, which have been closely associated with some common oral mucosal diseases, such as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) and atrophic glossitis (AG).[4,5] In addition to affecting the integrity of the oral mucosa and increasing the risk of secondary infection in the oral cavity, hematinic deficiencies can also cause aberrant immune responses or contribute to psychological disorders, which may be involved in the pathogenesis of OLP.[6–11] However, existing studies on the association between hematinic deficiencies and OLP have been lacking and the conclusions were inconsistent.[12–15] Wu et al. proposed that OLP was one of the leading oral manifestations of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and could be diagnosed in a third of patients with IDA in their oral mucosal exam.[16] In another study, the same team reported that the frequencies of serum vitamin B12, iron deficiencies and anemia in OLP patients were significantly greater than those in controls.[15] In contrast, an earlier study showed the comparable frequencies of hematinic deficiencies and anemia between OLP patients and healthy controls, suggesting that hematinic deficiencies may not be a predisposing factor for OLP.[13] Therefore, further determination on the association between hematinic deficiencies and OLP are required, which might provide the foundation for nutritional supplements in treating OLP and also give new insight into the possible interaction between hematinic deficiencies and OLP.

The current study was undertaken to assess the hematinic deficiencies in a cohort of OLP patients and evaluate the association between hematinic deficiencies and OLP. Furthermore, whether the severity of OLP is related to hematinic deficiencies was also analyzed.