Hairy Leukoplakia
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GALLERY: Hairy Leukoplakia

There are no symptoms associated with the lesion itself, [3] although many and varied symptoms and signs may be associated with the underlying cause of immunosuppression. The lesion is a white patch, which almost exclusively occurs on the lateral surfaces of the tongue, although rarely it may occur on the buccal mucosa , soft palate , pharynx or esophagus . [4] The lesion may grow to involve the dorsal surface of the tongue. The texture is vertically corrugated ("hairy") or thickly furrowed and shaggy in appearance. [4]

In addition, a marked decrease or an absence of Langerhans cells occurs in hairy leukoplakia biopsy tissues. [ 6 , 7 ] Langerhans cells are the antigen-presenting immune cells that are required for an immune system response to the viral infection and their deficiency may permit EBV to persistently replicate and escape immune recognition.

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