Cheilitis glandularis: Clinico-histopathological diagnostic criteria

S. Reiter*, M. Vered, N. Yarom, C. Goldsmith, M. Gorsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To present a combination of clinical and histopathological criteria for diagnosing cheilitis glandularis (CG), and to evaluate the association between CG and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Materials and Methods: The medical literature in English was searched from 1950 to 2010 and selected demographic data, and clinical and histopathological features of CG were retrieved and analysed. Results: A total of 77 cases have been published and four new cases were added to the collective data. The clinical criteria applied included the coexistence of multiple lesions and mucoid/purulent discharge, while the histopathological criteria included two or more of the following findings: sialectasia, chronic inflammation, mucous/oncocytic metaplasia and mucin in ducts. Only 47 (58.0%) cases involving patients with a mean age of 48.5±20.3years and a male-to-female ratio of 2.9:1 fulfilled the criteria. The lower lip alone was most commonly affected (70.2%). CG was associated with SCC in only three cases (3.5%) for which there was a clear aetiological factor for the malignancy. Conclusions: The proposed diagnostic criteria can assist in delineating true CG from a variety of lesions with a comparable clinical/histopathological presentation. CG in association with premalignant/malignant epithelial changes of the lower lip may represent secondary, reactive changes of the salivary glands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-339
Number of pages5
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Cheilitis glandularis
  • Diagnostic criteria
  • Squamous cell carcinom


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