Oral leukoplakia a South African sample: a clinicopathological study

Chandran, Rakesh
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Oral leukoplakia is the most common potentially malignant oral lesion. While the clinicopathological features in white patients are well characterised, this is not the case in black people. The aim of this study is to analyse the differences in the clinicopathological features of oral leukoplakia in different racial groups in the greater Johannesburg area of South Africa, with special emphasis on the black population. Only 14% of oral leukoplakia occurred in black persons compared to 80% in white persons. In contrast to white persons, black persons were diagnosed with oral leukoplakia at a younger age; there were more males affected than females; and the proportion of idiopathic leukoplakias was greater. There were significantly more black people (23%) with non-homogenous leukoplakia oral leukoplakia than white people with non-homogenous leukoplakia (13%), but there were significantly more white people (51%) than black people (23%) with dysplastic oral leukoplakia; and while in white people the floor of the mouth was the most frequently affected site, in black people it was the buccal mucosa. This study provides important differences in the clinicopathological features of oral leukoplakia between black persons and white persons.