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Characterization of orofacial features in sclerodermatous chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Oral Diseases 2024 March 22
BACKGROUND: Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT). The sclerodermatous form of cGVHD can be particularly debilitating; however, orofacial sclerodermatous involvement remains poorly described.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize orofacial features of sclerodermatous cGVHD in a single center cohort of patients who underwent alloHCT.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective data were collected from electronic medical records and analyzed descriptively.

RESULTS: There were 39 patients who received alloHCT between 1993 and 2017 and developed orofacial sclerodermatous cGVHD. Concomitant cutaneous sclerodermatous cGVHD was common (n = 20, 51%). Orofacial sclerodermatous cGVHD features included fibrous bands of the buccal mucosa (n = 23, 59%), limited mouth opening (n = 19, 54%), perioral fibrosis (n = 8, 21%), and focal gingival recession (n = 4, 10%). Oral mucosal fibrosis was observed at the site of active or resolved chronic lichenoid inflammation in 30 patients, with all but two also presenting with a history of ulcerations. Management included jaw stretching exercises (n = 10; 6 stable/improved), surgery (n = 3; 2 improved), and intralesional corticosteroid injections (n = 2; 2 improved).

CONCLUSIONS: Orofacial involvement with sclerodermatous cGVHD can present with multiple manifestations including fibrous banding, limited mouth opening, perioral fibrosis, and focal gingival recession. Surgical and non-surgical management strategies may improve clinical function and reduce morbidity.

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