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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 102-106

Serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α in patients with lichen planus

1 Dermatology and Venereology Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
2 Clinical Pathology Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
3 Dermatology and Venereology in the Ministry of Health, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Doaa Salah Hegab
17, Masjid El-Daawa St., Tanta 2nd, Gharbia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-6530.150261

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Background Lichen planus (LP) is an inflammatory skin disorder of unknown etiology. Tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-α) is a multifunctional proinflamatory cytokine, which plays an important role not only in immunity and inflammation but also in the control of cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Aims The present study was designed to investigate the serum level of TNF-α in patients with LP of different clinical presentations in comparison with healthy participants to study its possible role in the pathogenesis of LP. Patients and methods A total of 30 patients with different clinical variants of LP (16 male and 14 female patients) and 30 controls matched for age and sex were enrolled in this prospective case-control study after exclusion of those who had received treatment for LP or immunological treatment within the preceding 6 weeks, or those whose serum levels of TNF-α were suspected to be elevated because of other causes or diseases. The serum level of TNF-α was measured by means of the ELISA method in both patients and controls. Results The serum TNF-α level was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in patients than in controls, and it was also significantly higher in patients with oral LP than in those with cutaneous types of LP who do not have oral lesions (P < 0.05). The sensitivity and specificity of serum TNF-α was 62.5 and 81.8%, respectively, (cutoff value of 151 pg/ml) for the diagnosis of oral lesions in LP. Conclusion The findings in our study support the role of TNF-α in the pathogenetical process of LP and suggest that markedly elevated serum TNF-α level might be an important indicator of the risk for developing oral lesions in patients with LP.

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