Geographic Tongue Workup

Updated: May 14, 2018
  • Author: Robert D Kelsch, DMD; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD  more...
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A biopsy is not usually necessary, given the characteristic clinical presentation of geographic tongue.


Histologic Findings

The histologic findings in geographic tongue are identical to those seen in pustular psoriasis. [18] At the periphery, elongation of the rete ridges is noted with associated hyperparakeratosis and acanthosis. Toward the center of the lesion, corresponding to the erythematous area clinically, loss of filiform papillae with migration and clustering of neutrophils within the epithelium (spongiform pustule) is seen. The predominant inflammatory infiltrate in the lamina propria is neutrophils with an admixture of chronic inflammatory cells.