Current Content
Volume 37 - Number 3
May-June 2011

Case Study: Aphthous Ulcers in a 14-Year-Old Girl
Karlin T. Krebs

Recurrent aphthous ulcers (RAUs), also known as canker sores, aphthous stomatitis, or aphthae, are a very common and often painful condition presenting in primary care. The majority of aphthous ulcers are benign, time-limited (7 to 14 days), and in some cases, require pain management until healed. However, RAUs can be a manifestation of a serious health condition, such as an autoimmune disorder, human immunodeficiency virus, infection, and hematologic or oncologic conditions. Initially, the most important priority in caring for these patients is to obtain a complete history and physical examination to rule out systemic disease and lead to an accurate diagnosis and plan of care.