Background/purpose: Oral lichen planus (OLP) is generally considered as an oral potentially malignant disorder (OPMD). Previous studies have shown significantly higher serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), squamous cell carcinoma-antigen (SCC-Ag), and ferritin levels in patients with OPMDs such as oral submucous fibrosis, oral leukoplakia, oral erythroleukoplakia, or oral verrucous hyperplasia. This study aimed to evaluate whether there were significantly higher serum levels and positive rates of CEA, SCC-Ag, and ferritin in OLP patients than in healthy control subjects. Materials and methods: The serum CEA, SCC-Ag, and ferritin levels in 106 OLP patients and 187 healthy control subjects were measured and compared. Patients with serum CEA level ≥3 ng/mL, SCC-Ag level ≥2 ng/mL, and ferritin level ≥250 ng/mL were scored as serum positive for CEA, SCC-Ag, and ferritin, respectively. Results: This study found significantly higher mean serum CEA and ferritin levels in 106 OLP patients than in 187 healthy control subjects. Moreover, 106 OLP patients had significantly higher serum positive rates of CEA (12.3%) and ferritin (33.0%) than 187 healthy control subjects. Although the mean serum SCC-Ag level was higher in 106 OLP patients than in 187 healthy control subjects, the difference was not statistically significant. Of the 106 OLP patients, 39 (36.8%), 5 (4.7%), and 0 (0.0%) had serum positivities of one, two, or three tumor biomarkers including CEA, SCC-Ag, and ferritin, respectively. Conclusion: Our findings indicate significantly higher serum levels and positive rates of CEA and ferritin in OLP patients than in healthy control subjects.
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