Recurrent aphthous ulceration with zinc deficiency and cellular immune deficiency

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1991 Nov;72(5):559-61. doi: 10.1016/0030-4220(91)90493-v.


Zinc deficiency (serum zinc level 65 micrograms/dl) and cellular immune deficiency (confirmed by lymphoblastic transformation assay) were found in a 15-year-old boy who had had recurrent aphthous ulceration for 6 years. Despite the previous therapy (orally administered steroid, isoprinosine, interferon, lysozyme, and local treatment), the ulcers recurred monthly. After 3 months of zinc therapy (50 mg zinc sulfate orally three times daily) the aphthae disappeared and did not reappear for 1 year. The lymphoblastic transformation activity and serum zinc levels were also normalized with this treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes / blood
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / drug therapy
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / etiology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / drug therapy
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / etiology*
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / immunology
  • Zinc / deficiency*
  • Zinc / therapeutic use


  • Immunoglobulin Isotypes
  • Zinc