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Hairy Leukoplakia

  • Hairy Leukoplakia, also known as Oral Hairy Leukoplakia, refers to a characteristic lesion of the tongue which manifests grossly as white patches with a corrugated ('hairy') appearance. Hairy leukoplakia almost always occurs on the lateral borders of the tongue and manifests histologically as hyperkeratosis, hyperparakeratosis, or acanthosis of the oral mucosa. The lesion itself is thought to be caused by EBV infection but can only occur on the background of an immunodeficiency. Consequently, hairy leukoplakia is almost exclusively seen in immunocompromised patients, particularly those with AIDS.