Between-Lesion Discrepancies in Terms of Dysplasia, Cell Turnover and Diagnosis in Patients with Multiple Potentially Malignant Oral Lesions

Montebugnoli Lucio*, Gabusi Andrea, Gissi Davide Bartolomeo, Cervellati Fabio , Servidio Dora
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy

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© Lucio et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral Science, University of Bologna, Italy, Via S.Vitale 59 40125 Bologna; Tel: 0512088136; Fax: 051225208; E-mail:



The present study assessed patients with multiple oral lesions to evaluate the mis-estimation rate in terms of diagnosis and risk of malignant transformation when only one biopsy is performed.

Study Design:

Thirty-five patients presenting at least two white and/or red lesions in different oral mucosa sites with a final diagnosis of leuko/erythroplakias or lichenoid lesions were included, for a total of 70 biopsies.


Nineteen patients (54%) had at least one between-lesion discrepancy considering the presence/absence of dysplasia (10 patients), normal/high cell turnover (13 patients) or diagnosis (5 patients). Discrepancies were not related to clinical aspect or within-patient similarity of lesions.


Multiple oral lesions in the same patient can significantly differ in terms of dysplasia, high cell turnover and, even diagnosis. Multiple biopsies are imperative and diagnosis as well as risk of malignant transformation should be formulated for each single lesion rather than for each individual patient.

Keywords: : Leukoplakia, lichenoid lesion, dysplasia, cell turnover, diagnosis.