Oral complications associated with D-penicillamine treatment for Wilson disease: A clinicopathologic report

Serban Tovaru, Ioannina Parlatescu, Anca Silvia Dumitriu, Alexandru Bucur, Ilana Kaplan

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Background: Wilson disease (WD) isahereditary disease inhibiting copper release from the liver. Multi-organ manifestations involve the liver, nervous system, kidneys, eyes, heart, and skin. Elastic fiber damage is a complicationofthe most frequently used medicationinthe treatmentof WD D-penicillamine (D-PCA).These changes have very rarely been described in the oral cavity. The article describes oral complications associated with WD and its treatment by D-PCA. Methods: Clinical, radiographic, and microscopic evaluation was done on two WD female patients (aged 28 and 53), treated by D-PCA, with clinical and pathological evidence for oral drug-related complications. Results: The lesions included multiple small red papules of the lips, gingival enlargement, early onset periodontitis, and repeated oral candidiasis. Biopsies of oral mucosa (gingiva, buccal) exhibited in one case granulomatous inflammation, and in both cases, thick irregular clumps of tortuous, red-staining abnormal elastic fibers. The red lip papules resemble elastosis perforans serpiginosa (EPS). Similar lesions have been described in the skin, but never before in association with oral or perioral tissue. In addition to the oral lesions, one of the patients developed general intolerance to the drug and was switched to trientine hydrochloride. Conclusions: WD patients and otherstreated by D-PCA may develop oral and perioral complications, insome cases exhibiting features of damaged elastic fibers in the mucosa and periodontal apparatus. It is possible that this damage may be one of the factors responsible for poor periodontal health in WD patients. Recognition of the lesions can lead to replacement of the affecting therapeutic agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1236
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Periodontology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Adverse effects
  • Case report
  • Elastin
  • Hepatolenticular degeneration
  • Penicillamine
  • Periodontitis


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