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Orofacial granulomatosis – a 20-year review


D Wiesenfeld, 5th Floor 766 Elizabeth St. Melbourne, Vic. 3000, Australia. Tel: +613 93473788, Fax: +613 93473058, E-mail:


Orofacial granulomatosis (OFG) is the presence of persistent enlargement of the soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region, characterized by non-caseating granulomatous inflammation in the absence of diagnosable systemic Crohn’s disease (CD) or sarcoidosis. Over 20 years have passed since OFG was first described and an extensive review of the literature reveals that there is no consensus whether OFG is a distinct clinical disorder or an initial presentation of CD or sarcoidosis. Furthermore, the precise cause of OFG is still unknown although several theories have been suggested including infection, genetic predisposition and allergy. The clinical outcome of OFG patients continues to be unpredictable. Current therapies remain unsatisfactory. Regular clinical review is indicated to identify the development of gastrointestinal or systemic involvement. The aim of this review was to analyse the developments in our understanding of the aetiology, pathogenesis and treatment protocols, with particular emphasis on management and outcomes of OFG since this entity was first described in 1985.