Actinic cheilitis: clinicopathologic profile and association with degree of dysplasia


  • Funding: Brazilian Governmental Agencies CNPq (Edital MCT/CNPq No 14/2009).
  • Conflicts of interest: None.



Actinic cheilitis (AC) is a potentially malignant disorder of the lip caused by exposure to solar radiation.


This study was conducted to evaluate the clinicopathologic profile of cases of AC and to verify associations with the degree of dysplasia.


This retrospective study analyzed data for 40 patients with AC. Demographic, clinical, and histopathologic data were evaluated. Sections measuring 5 μm in thickness were cut, deparaffinized, and stained with hematoxylin and eosin for histologic examination. The degree of epithelial dysplasia was graded using the criteria defined by the World Health Organization. Two calibrated oral pathologists analyzed the slides.


Analysis of the AC patients sampled showed that 75.0% were male (= 0.002), 80.0% were aged ≥40 years (< 0.001), 74.3% were Caucasian (= 0.004), and 68.6% had occupational exposure to sunlight (= 0.028). The most common clinical manifestation was white lesions (55.0%), and 40.0% of patients had no dysplasia. No significant associations emerged between the histologic grading of AC and gender (= 1.000), age (= 1.000), ethnicity (= 0.416), occupational exposure to sunlight (= 1.000), and clinical presentation (= 0.467).


The degree of dysplasia in AC was not statistically associated with gender, age, ethnicity, occupational exposure to sunlight, or clinical appearance. This study provides some support for the hypothesis that clinicopathologic features are not related to the degree of dysplasia in AC.