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Flashcards in Oral & Esophageal Pathology Deck (22)
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What are aphthous ulcers? What do they look like? How common are they?

- AKA canker sores
- recurrent, painful ulcerations of the superficial mucosa of the oral cavity
- look for a grayish base surrounded by erythema
- quite common: 40% of population


Which infectious agent is responsible for most orofacial infections? How do patients usually present? Where is the agent found?

- HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus 1)
- primary infections are usually asymptomatic, but 10-20% manifest as acute herpetic gingivostomatitis
- reactivation of the latent virus results in recurrent herpetic stomatitis (cold sores)
- the virus remains dormant in the ganglia of the trigeminal nerve


What agent is responsible for oral candidiasis/thrush? When does it occur?

- Candida albicans (fungi)
- C. albicans is a normal component of oral flora; thrush occurs with immunosuppression


What is Behcet syndrome? What is it a result of?

- recurrent aphthous ulcers, genital ulcers, and uveitis
- it's due to immune complex vasculitis of small vessels


What is leukoplakia? Erythroplakia? Which is associated with increased risk of malignancy? What is the most common risk factor for each?

- leukoplakia: white plaque that can NOT be scraped off (where as thrush can)
- erythroplakia: a red flat/depressed lesion (it's essentially vascularized leukoplakia)
- both increase risk for cancer, but erythroplakia has a much greater risk
- tobacco is major risk factor for both


What is the most common type of oral cancers? What prognosis is associated with it? What are the two pathogenic pathways?

- squamous cell carcinoma (95%)
- poor prognosis (less than 50% survival rate)
- 2 pathways: chronic alcohol and tobacco intake (lesions develop in oral cavity, usually the floor of the mouth) OR oncogenic HPV-16 (lesions develop in tonsillar crypts or base of the tongue)


What is xerostomia? What is a common cause? What pathology is it highly associated with? What does it increase the risk for?

- "dry mouth"; decreased production of saliva
- a common side effect of radiation therapy and many medications
- xerostomia is a major feature of the autoimmune disease Sjorgen syndrome
- increaes risk of candidiasis, cavities, dysphagia, difficult speaking


What is sialadenitis? What are three major causes? What's the major risk factor?

- inflammation of the salivary glands
- autoimmune (Sjorgen syndrome), mumps (viral, mainly affects parotids), and S. aureus and/or S. viridans (bacteria, mainly affects submandibulars)
- major risk factor is obstruction via sialolithiasis


What are some major characteristics of mumps? What are some major complications?

- classic bilateral involvement of the parotids, elevated serum amylase (can be BOTH salivary and pancreatic)
- complications: orchitis (infection of testicles) + sterility, pancreatitis, aseptic meningitis


Which salivary glands are most commonly involved in neoplastic growth? What is the most common benign lesion? Malignant lesion? What's a major potential complication?

- parotids are most commonly involved (however, the sublingual glands are involved in most malignant cases)
- benign: pleomorphic adenoma
- malignant: mucoepidermoid carcinoma
- complication: facial nerve involvement


Pleomorphic Adenoma vs. Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma

- pleomorphic adenoma: benign, contains stromal and epithelial tissue (biphasic)
- mucoepidermoid carcinoma: malignant, contains mucinous and squamos cells
- both usually develop in parotid


Achalasia; What three things characterize it? What's a primary cause? A secondary cause?

- triad of incomplete lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxation, increased LES tone, and lack of esophageal peristalsis
- primary cause: idiopathic degeneration of neural innervation
- secondary: Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi destroys the myenteric plexus of the esophagus)
- increases risk for SCC


How do patients with achalasia commonly present? What differs from a patient with only obstruction?

- dysphagia with both solids and liquids, halitosis (putrid breath from rotting caught food), "bird's beak" sign on barium swallow (dilated esophagus due food/pressure build up with an area of distal stenosis)
- obstruction: dysphagia of only solids


What is the most common esophageal laceration? What is it caused by?

- Mallory-Weiss tears: longitudinal lacerations along the gastro-esophageal junction
- associated with severe retching (alcoholics and bulimics) and resulting painful hematemesis
- the tears tend to be superficial and heal rapidly (and are quite benign)


Catastrophic esophageal lacerations are known as:

- Boerhaave syndome: transmural tears; a surgical emergency


What is the most common cause of esohphagitis? What are some other causes?

- gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- results from a decrease in LES tone and/or an increase in gastric/abdominal pressure
- other causes: Candida (white pseudomembrane), HSV-1 (punched-out ulcers), CMV (linear ulcers), chemical ingestion


Barrett Esophagus

- a complication of chronic GERD (occurs in the distal esophagus)
- intestinal metaplasia within the esophageal squamous mucosa (stratified nonkeratinized squamous epithelium replaced with nonciliated columnar epithelium with goblet cells)
- increases risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma


What is a tracheo-esophageal fistula? What are the major clinical findings?

- abnormal connection between the trachea and esophagus due to a congenital defect
- several variations; most common: proximal esophageal atresia with the distal esophagus coming off of the trachea
- clinical findings: poly-hydramnios (due to inability to digest amniotic fluid), vomiting, abdominal distension with gas (air is easily swallowed), aspiration


What is an esophageal web? What part of the esophagus is usually involved? What are some complications? Which syndrome is it associated with?

- protrusion of the mucosa into the lumen, resulting in obstruction
- commonly affects the upper 1/3 of the esophagus
- leads to dysphagia, increased risk for SCC
- associated with Plummer-Vinson syndrome: triad of dysphagia due to esophageal web, iron deficiency anemia, and glossitis (beefy-red tongue)


Which diverticulum is found in the esophagus? Is it a true or false diverticulum? Where does it usually develop? How do patients commonly present?

- Zenker diverticulum
- a false diverticulum (only the mucosa enters the muscular wall)
- develops above the upper esophageal sphincter (at the junction of the pharynx and esophagus; the Killian triangle)
- patients present with dysphagia, obstruction, halitosis (rotting, trapped food)
- increased risk of SCC


What are the two types of esophageal carcinoma? Where does each type commonly develop? Which is most common in the Western world? World-wide?

- adenocarcinoma (requries metaplasia, Barrett esophagus) and squamous cell carcinoma
- AC: occurs in the lower 1/3, most common in the western world
- SCC: occurs in the upper 2/3, most common world-wide


Risk Factors for Esophageal Carcinoma

- achalsia, alcohol (SCC), Barrett esophagus (AC), cigarettes, diverticula (SCC), esophageal web (SCC), familial, fat (obesity, AC), GERD (AC), hot liquids (SCC)
- (achalsia, diverticula, and esophageal web involve rotting foods, which are irritants)