French guidelines for the management of oral lichen planus (excluding pharmacological therapy)

Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2022 Mar;149(1):14-27. doi: 10.1016/j.annder.2021.04.003. Epub 2021 Jul 6.


Introduction: Oral lichen is a chronic inflammatory disease for which diagnostic management and follow-up are heterogeneous given the absence of specific guidelines in France. Our objective was to develop French multidisciplinary guidelines for the management of oral lichen.

Materials and methods: Working groups from the Groupe d'Etude de la Muqueuse Buccale (GEMUB) formulated a list of research questions and the corresponding recommendations according to the "formal consensus" method for developing practice guidelines. These recommendations were submitted to a group of experts and the degree of agreement for each recommendation was assessed by a scoring group.

Results: Twenty-two research questions, divided into 3 themes (nosological classification and initial assessment, induced oral lichenoid lesions, and follow-up) resulted in 22 recommendations. Initial biopsy for histology is recommended in the absence of reticulated lesions. Biopsy for direct immunofluorescence is recommended for ulcerated, erosive, bullous types and for diffuse erythematous gingivitis. Management should include a periodontal and dental check-up, and investigation for extra-oral lesions. Hepatitis C testing is recommended only if risk factors are present. Definitions, triggering factors and the management of "induced oral lichenoid lesions" were clarified. Oral lichen must be monitored by a practitioner familiar with the disease at least once a year, using objective tools.

Conclusion: This formalised consensus of multidisciplinary experts provides clinical practice guidelines on the management and monitoring of oral lichen.

Keywords: Disease prevention and control; Lichenoid lesion; Oral lichen planus; Oral pathology; Recommendations.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Direct
  • Humans
  • Lichen Planus, Oral* / diagnosis
  • Lichen Planus, Oral* / drug therapy
  • Lichenoid Eruptions* / diagnosis