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Aphthous Ulcers

Aphthous Ulcers is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Painful ovoid or round ulcerations on the mucous membranes of the mouth, tongue or genitals:
  • Commonly referred to as “canker sores”


  • Unknown
  • Etiology likely multifactorial with some correlation with:
    • Immunologic dysfunction; alteration of cell-mediated immune system
    • Infection
    • Food hypersensitivities (i.e., gluten)
    • Vitamin deficiency
    • Pregnancy
    • Menstruation
    • Trauma
    • Stress
    • Ethnicity
    • Immunodeficiency
    • Medications: β-blockers, anti-inflammatory
  • Epidemiology: Usually occurs in children and young adults (Peak age of onset: Between 10 to 19 yr old)
    • Most common inflammatory ulcerative condition of the oral cavity (20-40% of general population)
    • More common in women
    • May be familial

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Aphthous Ulcers." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307478/all/Aphthous_Ulcers.
Aphthous Ulcers. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307478/all/Aphthous_Ulcers. Accessed April 22, 2019.
Aphthous Ulcers. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307478/all/Aphthous_Ulcers
Aphthous Ulcers [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 22]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307478/all/Aphthous_Ulcers.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Aphthous Ulcers ID - 307478 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307478/all/Aphthous_Ulcers PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -