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Twenty-one biopsy specimens were obtained from thirteen patients with recurrent aphthous lesions to correlate histologic features with the clinical course of this disease. From one patient group specimens were obtained also for virus isolation, immunofluorescence, and serum immunoglobulin levels.
Early lesions were characterized by prickle-cell hyperplasia and dysplasia, lymphocytic inflammatory infiltration, and the presence of large numbers of mast cells. Subepithelial vesicles were seen in prodromal lesions.
Emotion, trauma, hormonal changes, allergy, and diet did not seem to be etiologic factors. Herpes virus could not be isolated from any aspirate collected, and giant cells or nuclear inclusion bodies were not observed. However, positive immunofluorescence for immunoglobulin A and altered serum globulin, together with the finding of mast cells and lymphocytes, suggest an immunologic component in this disease.
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© 1969 Published by Elsevier Inc.