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Prevalence of and Prognostic Factors for Candida Superinfection in Oral Lichen Planus and Lichenoid Reactions: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

BACKGROUND: Oral candidiasis occasionally occurs in patients with oral lichen planus (OLP) or lichenoid reaction (OLR). However, not all patients undergoing corticosteroid therapy develop Candida superinfection. Thus, identification of prognostic risk factors may help to identify patients at risk of Candida superinfection.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to review patients with OLP/OLR who received steroid therapy at a single dental hospital between January 2016 and December 2021. The prevalence of Candida superinfection and prognostic factors were assessed.

RESULTS: Eighty-two eligible patients with OLP/OLR were retrospectively reviewed. The overall prevalence of Candida superinfection during the study period was 35.37%; the median time-to-event between initiation of corticosteroid therapy and diagnosis of superinfection was 60 days (interquartile range; 34-296). The ulcerative type of OLP/OLR, number of topical steroid applications, poor oral hygiene, and oral dryness were significantly associated with superinfection (p < 0.05; Fisher's Exact test) and were identified as prognostic factors in univariable risk ratio regression. Multivariable risk ratio regression revealed the ulcerative type of OLP/OLR and number of topical steroid applications were significant prognostic factors for Candida superinfection in patients with OLP/OLR.

CONCLUSION: Candida superinfection occurs in approximately one-third of patients with OLP/OLR undergoing corticosteroid therapy. Patients with OLP/OLR should be closely monitored in the first 2 months (60 days; median time to infection) after steroid prescription. The ulcerative type of OLP/OLR and a higher number of topical steroid applications per day may represent prognostic factors to identify patients at risk of Candida superinfection.

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