Possible link between Hashimoto's thyroiditis and oral lichen planus: A novel association found

Lorenzo Lo Muzio, Andrea Santarelli, Giuseppina Campisi, MariaGrazia G. Lacaita, Gianfranco Favia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Hashimoto's thyroiditis as well as lichen planus has been associated to a number of disorders, generally of auto-immune origin. A novel possible association between oral lichen planus (OLP) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) is here proposed on the basis of a cross-sectional survey. Materials and methods: One hundred and five unrelated OLP patients were considered. Diagnosis of HT was based on positive serum anti-TPO, anti-Tg, TSH levels and the typical ultrasound pattern of the thyroid gland. Results: In the present survey, the prevalence of HT in the OLP group was 14. 3 % whereas the prevalence of HT-related hypothyroidism in the general population was reported to be equal to 1 %. By Fisher's exact test, it was revealed that the difference between our data and historical prevalence of HT was found statistically significant. Conclusion: Actually, there is no definitive hypothesis that could explain the coexistence of OLP and HT. However, considering the onset timing of HT followed by OLP in 93. 3 % of our series, we suspected a causal or predisposing role for HT. Specifically, we believe that in HT patients, circulating thyroid antibodies could contribute to trigger an organ-specific auto-immune response also in the oral mucosa or skin, leading to the development of LP lesions. Clinical relevance: Because of the large number of cases of asymptomatic chronic auto-immune thyroiditis, it would be useful that women over 40 years of age affected by OLP were screened for thyroid dysfunction, particularly HT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-336
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Autoimmunity
  • Circulating thyroid antibodies
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • Oral lichen planus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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