METHODS: 97 patients were studied including 35 with erosive oral lichen planus, 32 with non-erosive oral lichen planus and 30 healthy control subjects. The level of IL-16 was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using reagents from “Immunotech” (France).
RESULTS: Patients with erosive oral lichen planus in the acute (959.3±11.3 pg/ml) and chronic (828.3±13.1 pg/ml) stage had statistically greater levels of IL-16 compared to the control group (348.5±12.3 pg/ml, p<0.05). In patients with non-erosive oral lichen planus, levels of IL-16 were also greater than normal. There were no significant differences between the values of IL-16 in acute (448.6 ± 11.2 pg / ml) and in chronic stages (386.3±11.1 pg/ml) of disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Acute relapse and chronic stages of oral lichen planus are characterized by significant increases in the concentration of IL-16 in the blood, which supports the inflammatory process enhancing cell migration into sites of inflammation.