Clinical Profile of Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome/Orofacial Granulomatosis: A Review of 51 Patients

J Cutan Med Surg. 2021 Jul-Aug;25(4):390-396. doi: 10.1177/1203475421995132. Epub 2021 Feb 11.


Background: Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome (MRS) is a rare disease characterized by the triad of granulomatous cheilitis, fissured tongue, and facial paralysis. Publications concerning large series are rare in the literature.

Objectives: To describe the clinical and histopathological characteristics of patients with complete and oligosymptomatic forms of MRS.

Methods: A retrospective records review was performed for the diagnoses of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, granulomatous cheilitis, and orofacial granulomatosis at oral Diseases Clinic of the Department of Dermatology, University of São Paulo, Brazil (2003, 2017).

Results: A total of 51 patients were included, mean age at presentation 35.69 years. Four patients were younger than 18 years. The complete triad of was observed in 10 patients. The rare findings of granulomatous blepharitis, gingivitis and palatitis are presented. Comorbidities included Crohn's disease (5 patients), migraine headaches (1 patient) and convulsions (2 patients). Granulomatous inflammatory infiltrate was detected in 31 biopsies. Medical therapies included included oral and intralesional steroids, thalidomide, dapsone, azathioprine, tetracycline, methotrexate, and surgery, with variable responses.

Conclusions: Our report meant to draw attention to the clinical spectrum of this rare disorder, mainly to oligosymptomatic forms and rarer presentations.

Keywords: Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome; facial paralysis; fissured tongue; geographic tongue; granulomatous cheilitis; orofacial granulomatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Granulomatosis, Orofacial / diagnosis*
  • Granulomatosis, Orofacial / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies