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High bilirubin levels. Diagnosed with Lichen planus. What are my chances to have a liver problem?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 436 Questions
I've been half-way diagnosed with Lichen Planus in my mouth by a dentist on here--I need to get a confirmation, but it's extremely likely I have it. It seems to be the non-erosive kind--not painful. I am extremely worried I have some sort of liver problem. The dentist on here said it's not possible, but I've read studies have a hypothesis and proof of this correlation in studies. I had a high bilirubin count 3 years go, but the enzyme tests came back normal three times since. I have high anxiety and a huge hypochondriac, but I've read so much about the correlation, I cant stop obsessing about it and I don't have insurance till 3/1/12. I've been sexually active (heterosexual), but I've never had tattoos, shared needles, or anything relative to that. I wear dentures. Thanks.
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Radhika 2 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Lichen planus is a chronic recurrent rash that is caused due to inflammation. It is small, flat-topped, polygonal bumps that can grow on the skin, mucous membrane, vagina,etc..

The cause is often unknown. However it is sometimes linked with:
1. Autoimmune conditions
2. Various drugs taken for malaria, antipsychotic treatments, diuretics, etc.
3. HPV(human pailloma virus)

There have been some reports that liver disease and hepatitis C affected individuals are at risk to develop cirrhosis. However it does we have yet to evidence to suggest all lichen planus cases are to be affected with liver disease.

These are the various possibilities of getting Lichen planus. Since you have history of HPV, there is more of it being due to this; so I would suggest you to get a biopsy of the lichen planus.

As far as the doubts of liver disease, you might get yourself tested for Hepatitis to alleviate any fears of hepatitis/liver disease. Any physician will be able to guide you with the test and help you with it.

Do not worry, it is treatable. You will need to go to dermatologist.

Hope I have answered your query. f you do not have any follow up,Please accept my answer.

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Follow-up: High bilirubin levels. Diagnosed with Lichen planus. What are my chances to have a liver problem? 9 hours later
The Dentist told me there's no chance it can be linked to liver disease. Im really worried now. I just had my enzymes checked in XXXXXXX of 2011 for the 3rd time in 3 years, and it came out normal. I think I'll get tested tomorrow even if I don't have insurance. Can you get an American doctor to follow up? No offense but they see more cases of this here. Thanks.
Answered by Dr. Radhika 15 hours later

Thanks for the follow up.

Though no strong relation, few studies show some relations between Hepatitis C and lichen planus. However it is more related to autoimmune problems, dental materials including dentures and allergic food and HPV too. A thorough evaluation by a dermatologist or periodontist will help in narrowing down the cause.

As far as association of hepatitis C is concerned, simple test such as liver function test will reveal to us if you case is linked to hepatitis.

I understand your concern and your request to discuss with an American doctor; hence I will certainly forward this query to an American doctor. If some one is available he/she will be available to address your concern.

Hope I have been of some help to you. Do accept the response if you do not have any further query to me.

Wish you good luck.

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