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April 19, 1971

Tuberculosis of the Palate

JAMA. 1971;216(3):521. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180290095030

To the Editor.—  Tuberculosis of the oral cavity is considered to be uncommon and primary lesions are extremely rare, although they have been reported.1-5 The following case report describes a patient in whom primary tuberculosis of the hard palate developed in a torus palatinus and was successfully treated with chemotherapy.

Report of a Case.—  A 72-year-old white man had complained of a painful "sore" on his hard palate for several weeks. A torus palatinus had been present for many years. On examination by his dentist, an elevated ulcerated lesion, 3×4 cm in size, was noted in the center of the torus. The patient was referred to an oral surgeon because the lesion was thought to be a possible cancerous process. Biopsy of the lesion showed a typical picture of tuberculosis with granulomata consisting of giant cells and epithelioid cells. Acid-fast bacilli were seen on Ziehl-Neelsen stain of the biopsy.