Oral Mucosal Conditions in Chronic Hepatitis C Brazilian Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

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Abstract

Objective:

Our purpose was to carry out an epidemiological study to assess the prevalence of oral mucosal conditions in Brazilian patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Methods:

A cross-sectional survey was carried out on 215 patients with chronic hepatitis C who were examined for oral mucosal conditions, including oral mucosal lesions and variations of normality.

Results:

The prevalence of patients with chronic hepatitis C presenting oral mucosal conditions was 96.3 percent (207 patients). Oral mucosal lesions were present in 147 patients (68.4 percent), whereas variations of normality were observed in 173 patients (80.5 percent). The most common lesions included cheek biting in 42 cases (19.5 percent), candidiasis in 39 cases (18.1 percent), and leukoplakia in 28 cases (13.0 percent). The association of oral lichen planus with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection proved to be statistically significant (P = 0.002). The most frequent variations of normality included Fordyce's spots in 96 cases (44.7 percent), lingual varicosities in 67 cases (31.2 percent), and fissured tongue in 60 cases (27.9 percent).

Conclusion:

The prevalence of patients with chronic hepatitis C presenting oral mucosal conditions was 96.3 percent. Despite this high prevalence, only the association between oral lichen planus and hepatitis C showed statistical significance. Considering that HCV infection may be associated with extrahepatic disorders, such as oral manifestations, efforts should be made to clarify the possible relation between oral conditions and HCV infection. This may be helpful in the earlier diagnosis of the infection mainly in asymptomatic patients.

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