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October 1980

Hypertrophic Glossitis in Secondary Syphilis

Author Affiliations

Lansing, Mich

Arch Dermatol. 1980;116(10):1103-1104. doi:10.1001/archderm.1980.01640340013010

To the Editor.—  A 22-year-old man had noted enlarging white plaques on his tongue for several months. At the onset, the patient had smoked 30 cigarettes daily. A chronic inner ear infection preceded the appearance of the tongue lesion and was still present in June 1979. Drug intake included methamphetamine hydrochloride diet pills, meclizine hydrochloride, and a sinus tablet taken near the time of onset of the tongue lesions.On June 19, 1979, there were white finely papillomatous plaques present, including one fissure of the middle and posterior thirds of the tongue. Herpes simplex infection of the upper lip was also present.The biopsy specimen revealed the following:Definite papillomatous thickening of the surface epithelium of the tongue with extensive areas of spongiform edema and exocytosis covered by a layer of parakeratotic crust. In the parakeratotic areas, there are several foci suggesting Munro type microabscess formation. In the papillary layer

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