Author | Peter N. Lipke, PhD

Articles

Oropharyngeal candidiasis: Diagnostic clues, treatment tips

March 01, 2008

The most common manifestation of oropharyngealcandidiasis (OPC) is pseudomembranous candidiasis, commonlyknown as "thrush," which appears as a whitish yellow,curdlike discharge on the mucosal surfaces. Other forms ofOPC include denture stomatitis, angular cheilitis, and glossitis.Patients with denture stomatitis are usually asymptomatic, butthe tissue beneath the denture is typically red and hyperplastic.Patients with angular cheilitis may complain of a burning sensationat the margins of the lips. Candidiasis involving thetongue can be exuberant and is usually associated with complaintsof a white tongue, taste alterations, and a burning sensationof the tongue. The diagnosis of OPC can be establishedby identifying typical fungal elements on potassium hydroxidepreparation or Gram stain of scraped material. Treatment optionsinclude clotrimazole, fluconazole, itraconazole, and nystatin.(J Respir Dis. 2008;29(3):128-135)