Can presence of oral Fordyce’s granules serve as a marker for hyperlipidemia?

Kamis Y. Gaballah, Iman Rahimi


Background: Hyperlipidemia is a well-documented risk factor for coronary heart disease and
a great wealth of clinical trials have shown that early detection of hyperlipidemia and prescribing
drugs that lower elevated lipid levels reduce serious cardiovascular events, such as myocardial
infarction, heart failure and stroke. Fordyce granules (FGs) are sebaceous glands without hair
follicles, most often located under the epithelium of the cheek and the vermilion border of lip.
The incidence of FGs is typically high and their presence is usually regarded as a normal variation
of the oral mucosa. The aim of this study was to investigate the pattern of anatomical distribution
and density of FGs and also to explore any potential relationship between the detection of FGs
and the state of hyperlipidemia.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, prospective study was designed. The participants
were divided into two groups; fi rst group consisted of individuals with FGs and the second group
included those with no FGs detected. All participants were fasting 9-12 h before they were subjected
to a comprehensive oral examination and their blood was sampled and tested for complete lipid
profi le. The presence of FGs was scored based on the number of the granules and their anatomical
distribution. Chi-square test was used and P < 0.05 was considered as signifi cant.
Results: A total of 350 patients were recruited for this study, nearly 90% (n = 314) elicit detectable
FGs. The FGs were mainly located on the buccal mucosa with or without labial involvement and
their density tend to reduce with age and also with smoking. Individuals with elevated lipid profi le
tend to have the highest score of the FGs.
Conclusion: According to this report, the presence of high numbers of FGs in people with high
risk factors for cardiovascular disease should not be neglected.
Key Words: Blood lipid profi le, cardiovascular disease, ectopic, Fordyce’s granules, Fordyce’s
spots, hyperlipidemia, sebaceous glands, smoking

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