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Prevalence of human papillomavirus in oral lichen planus in an Iranian cohort.

CONTEXT: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic inflammatory mucocutaneous disease with female predominance with the potential for malignant transformation. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with both malignant and benign disease in the head and neck region.

AIMS: The present study assesses the prevalence of high-risk HPV-16 and HPV-18 in tissue and saliva samples from an Iranian population diagnosed with OLP.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Deoxyribonucleic acid was extracted and investigated using polymerase chain reaction from tissue and saliva samples of the same individuals from 40 OLP cases and saliva samples of 40 healthy controls.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: The prevalence of data was compared using the Chi-square test and inter-group differences were analyzed using Fisher's exact test.

RESULTS: OLP specimens were HPV-positive in 11 of 40 (27.5%) cases compared with three of 40 (7.5%) saliva specimens, representing a statistically significant difference (P = 0.0367). HPV-16 and HPV-18 were positive in eight of 40 (20%) OLP tissues and three of 40 (7.5%) saliva samples. Five of the 40 healthy saliva samples were positive for HPV-16. In the OLP patients with dysplasia, four of seven tissue samples were HPV-positive; threeof these four were HPV-16- positive in comparision with seven of 33 HPV-positive samples from OLP patients without dysplasia.

CONCLUSIONS: Biopsies were more accurate than saliva analysis for evaluating HPV prevalence in OLP patients. HPV prevalence was higher in dysplastic than nondysplastic OLP lesions in this Iranian cohort.

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