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Proliferative Verrucous Leukoplakia (PVL): A Review of an Elusive Pathologic Entity!

Gillenwater, Ann M. MD; Vigneswaran, Nadarajah DMD; Fatani, Hanadi MD; Saintigny, Pierre MD; El-Naggar, Adel K. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3182a92df1
Review Articles

Proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL) is a rare less recognized form of oral leukoplakia. Patients with this condition represent a unique clinically and pathologically progressive characteristic from conventional leukoplakia. Because of the lack of defined pathologic lesions, identifying patients with the early diagnosis of PVL is challenging. This is largely due to the overlapping clinical and pathologic early features with conventional multifocal leukoplakia with dysplasia. The diagnosis can only be achieved through the keen clinical observation of the temporal progression in individual patients to verrucous and/or conventional squamous carcinoma. We present a brief view of the clinicopathologic and biological characteristics of PVL and discuss diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and management.

Departments of *Head and Neck Surgery


§Medical Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Department of Diagnostic Sciences, The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, Houston, TX

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprints: Adel K. El-Naggar, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology, Unit 85, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030-4009 (e-mail:

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