The term "Hairy Leukoplakia" is a misnomer!
Oral hairy leukoplakia(OHL), first reported by Greenspan in 1984, is a white corrugated lesion primarily affecting the lateral borders of the tongue. It is the most common Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) related lesion occurring in patients with HIV/AIDS. In fact, it represents an opportunistic infection strongly associated with HIV/AIDS.
But did you know the term “Hairy Leukoplakia” is a misnomer?
If you thought oral hairy leukoplakia was another type of leukoplakia, think again. The term "hairy leukoplakia" is a misnomer. The lesion is better off not being called so, since it breeds confusion and is in no way related to the potentially malignant disorder "leukoplakia".
Oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL) is not a potentially malignant disorder. It is histologically bland and does not show dysplastic features.
OHL is a definitive/definable lesion, whereas leukoplakia is a diagnosis of exclusion (read this for more clarity on this concept).
"Greenspan lesion" is an alternate term proposed for OHL.
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