Down syndrome: lip lesions (angular stomatitis and fissures) and Candida albicans


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SummaryBackground The incidence of angular cheilitis (angular stomatitis, perleche, commissural fissures) appears to be increased in people with Down syndrome (DS). Lip fissures are also (in our clinical impression) a fairly regular feature, yet this is scarcely mentioned in the literature.

Objectives To establish the incidence of angular cheilitis and lip fissures in a substantial group of patients with DS and to examine the relationship with Candida albicans.

Patients and methods The prevalence of orofacial soft tissue lesions was investigated in a group of 77 DS patients. Swabs were taken from lip lesions, palate and tongue and inoculated on Sabouraud's agar discs for the isolation of C. albicans, identified with commercially available kits.

Results Lip fissures were seen in at least one-quarter of DS patients. Angular cheilitis was also found in a similar percentage.

Conclusions C. albicans was isolated from a substantial proportion of lesions tested, and was present more frequently than in those without lip lesions, but it is uncertain whether this represents cause or effect.