A clinical term to describe any erythematous area on a mucous membrane, that cannot be attributed to any other pathology.
The term may refer specifically to carcinoma in situ of the glans penis or vulva appearing as a red patch, or may be used as a synonym of erythroplasia on other mucous membrane or transitional sites.
It may present on the mucous membranes of the larynx, and rarely, the mouth, or the anus.
Analogous to the term leukoplakia which describes white patches.
Together, these are the 2 traditionally accepted types of premalignant lesion in the mouth.
Erythroplakia is much less common than leukoplakia
Erythroplakia carries a significantly higher risk of containing dysplasia or carcinoma in situ, and of eventually transforming into invasive squamous cell carcinoma.
Erythroplakia of the genital mucosa is often ref2242ed to as erythroplasia of Queyrat.
The most common areas in the mouth where erythroplakia is found are the floor of the mouth, buccal vestibule, the tongue, and the soft palate.
Appears as a red macule or plaque with well-demarcated borders.
Adjacent areas of leukoplakia may be found along with the erythroplakia.
May also occur on the laryngeal mucosa, or the anal mucosa.
Cause presumed it to be similar to the causes of squamous cell carcinoma.
Carcinoma is found in almost 40% of erythroplakia.
Mostly found in elderly men around the ages of 65 – 74.
It is commonly associated with smoking.
Alcohol and tobacco use have been described as risk factors.
Frequently is associated with dysplasia, and is thus a precancerous lesion.
Evaluation involves biopsy of the lesion to identify extent of dysplasia.
Complete excision of the lesion is sometimes advised, but recurrence is common and long-term monitoring is needed.