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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Tongue lesions in psoriasis: a controlled study

Maryam Daneshpazhooh*, Homayoon Moslehi, Maryam Akhyani and Marjan Etesami

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, RAZI Hospital, Vahdate-Eslami Sq. 11966 Tehran, Iran

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BMC Dermatology 2004, 4:16  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-4-16

Published: 4 November 2004



Our objective was to study tongue lesions and their significance in psoriatic patients.


The oral mucosa was examined in 200 psoriatic patients presenting to Razi Hospital in Tehran, Iran, and 200 matched controls.


Fissured tongue (FT) and benign migratory glossitis (BMG) were the two most frequent findings. FT was seen more frequently in psoriatic patients (n = 66, 33%) than the control group (n = 19, 9.5%) [odds ratio (OR): 4.69; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.61–8.52] (p-value < 0.0001). BMG, too, was significantly more frequent in psoriatic patients (28 cases, 14%) than the control group (12 cases, 6%) (OR: 2.55; 95% CI: 1.20–5.50) (p-value < 0.012). In 11 patients (5.5%), FT and BMG coexisted.

FT was more frequent in pustular psoriasis (7 cases, 53.8%) than erythemato-squamous types (56 cases, 30.4%). On the other hand, the frequency of BMG increased with the severity of psoriasis in plaque-type psoriasis assessed by psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) score.


Nonspecific tongue lesions are frequently observed in psoriasis. Further studies are recommended to substantiate the clinical significance of these seemingly nonspecific findings in suspected psoriatic cases.