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The tounge is a muscle covered by a thickened squamous mucosa. It frequently is involved in diseases that affect the entire oral cavity. However, it may occasionally be the first sign of a systemic disease. Remember when you were told to "Stick your tounge out!". The doctor really did learn something from this gagging experience! This overview provides a differential diagnosis of diseases which prominently affect the tounge or secondarily affect the tounge in systemic disorders.


Differential Diagnosis  
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Pemphigus vegetans  
Condyloma accuminata  
Cryptococcal infections  
Herpes simplex glossitis  
Lichen planus  
Squamous cell carcinoma  
Verrucous leukoplakia  
Verrucous carcinoma
Potential pitfalls in diagnostic oral pathology: a review for the general surgical pathologist.

Massey D.

From the Division of Anatomic Pathology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA.

Adv Anat Pathol. 2005 Nov;12(6):332-49. Abstract quote  

Oral developmental, reactive, benign neoplastic and malignant neoplastic conditions, many odontogenic in origin, may not be seen routinely by the general surgical pathologist and therefore may present a diagnostic dilemma.

This article describes odontogenic and nonodontogenic conditions with little or no destructive potential along with the more aggressive conditions that resemble them clinically and histologically. The importance of clinical and radiographic correlation as an adjunct to tissue diagnosis is highlighted. Additionally, a brief summary of odontogenesis is presented with attention given to odontogenic embryologic remnants and the developmental and pathologic processes that may arise from them.

Differential Diagnosis of Oral and Maxillofacial Lesions. 5th Ed. St. Louis. Mosby. 1996.
Henry JB. Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. Twentieth Edition. WB Saunders. 2001.
Rosai J. Ackerman's Surgical Pathology. Ninth Edition. Mosby 2004.
Sternberg S. Diagnostic Surgical Pathology. Fourth Edition. Lipincott Williams and Wilkins 2004.
Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. Seventh Edition. WB Saunders 2005.
DeMay RM. The Art and Science of Cytopathology. Volume 1 and 2. ASCP Press. 1996.
Weedon D. Weedon's Skin Pathology Second Edition. Churchill Livingstone. 2002
Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 6th Edition. McGraw-Hill. 2003.
Weiss SW and Goldblum JR. Enzinger and Weiss's Soft Tissue Tumors. Fourth Edition. Mosby 2001.

Commonly Used Terms

Basic Principles of Disease
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Commonly Used Terms
This is a glossary of terms often found in a pathology report.

Diagnostic Process
Learn how a pathologist makes a diagnosis using a microscope

Surgical Pathology Report
Examine an actual biopsy report to understand what each section means

Special Stains
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How Accurate is My Report?
Pathologists actively oversee every area of the laboratory to ensure your report is accurate

Got Path?
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Last Updated December 21, 2005

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