As leukoplakia (from ancient Greek λευκός leukós , German , white ' and πλάξ , genitive πλακός plakós , German , plate, surface' - literally "white space"), all white, non-erase lesions of the mucous membrane. Leukoplakia is a keratinization disorder with cellular and epithelial atypia. Nicotine and alcohol abuse as well as mechanical stimuli are named as causes . Leukoplakia is generally one of the facultative precanceroses - with erosive and verrucous leukoplakia showing a degenerative potential to squamous cell carcinoma . Flat leukoplakias are generally harmless, verrucous (wart-like) leukoplakias are histologically true carcinomas in situ . The following pathologies must be included in the differential diagnosis : Friction keratosis , morsicatio buccarum , candidiasis , hairy leukoplakia , white sponge nevus , lichen planus , chronic discoid lupus erythematosus (CDLE) and chemical burns .
A brush biopsy or staining with toluidine blue is available for the early detection of degenerate leukoplakia . The final diagnosis is made by means of a trial excision and histopathological assessment. The therapy of choice is the surgical removal of the leukoplakia (excision, laser or cryosurgery).
- Leukoplakia simplex (plana): homogeneous, white, generally sharply demarcated area of the mucous membrane with a smooth surface. Usually harmless, rates of degeneration are given as up to three percent.
- Leukoplakia verrucosa: surface is raised warty. Carcinoma risk: 11 percent (depending on the examination up to 20 percent)
- Leukoplakia erosiva: Irregular leukoplakia with red areas. Degeneration rate about (30 to) 38 percent
- Erythroplakia: Erythroplakia is often listed as an independent keratinization disorder alongside leukoplakia. It is an obligatory precancerous condition or carcinoma in situ with invasive growth. Unfavorable prognosis if the disease is localized on the floor of the mouth, the underside of the tongue or the edge of the tongue.