Characteristics of Clinically Classified Oral Lichen Planus in Optical Coherence Tomography: A Descriptive Case-Series Study

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Malignant transformation of oral lichen planus (OLP) into oral squamous cell carcinoma is considered as one of the most serious complications of OLP. For the early detection of oral cancer in OLP follow-up, accurate localization of the OLP center is still difficult but often required for confirmatory biopsy with histopathological examination. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) offers the potential for more reliable biopsy sampling in the oral cavity as it is capable of non-invasively imaging the degenerated oral layer structure. In this case-series study with 15 patients, features of clinically classified forms of OLP in OCT cross-sections were registered and correlated with available histologic sections. Besides patients with reticular, atrophic, erosive and plaque-like OLP, two patients with leukoplakia were included for differentiation. The results show that OCT yields information about the epithelial surface, thickness and reflectivity, as well as the identifiability of the basement membrane and the vessel network, which could be used to complement the visual clinical appearance of OLP variants and allow a more accurate localization of the OLP center. This forms the basis for further studies on OCT-assisted non-invasive clinical classification of OLP, with the aim of enabling decision support for biopsy sampling in the future.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2642
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

External IDs

PubMed 37627901
Mendeley 16341ec2-af34-37df-8feb-166ae9e354b1
Scopus 85168994981
ORCID /0000-0002-8160-3000/work/142248362
ORCID /0000-0002-7267-7016/work/142249547
ORCID /0000-0003-0554-2178/work/142249931
ORCID /0000-0003-2292-5533/work/148607525
ORCID /0000-0003-2292-5533/work/150885213


Sustainable Development Goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • biomedical imaging, endoscopy, fiber optics, histology, human oral mucosa, leukoplakia, optical coherence tomography, oral cancer, oral lichen planus, precancerous lesions

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