eISSN: 1644-4124
ISSN: 1426-3912
Central European Journal of Immunology
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vol. 40

Review paper
Fabricated or induced illness in the oral cavity in children. A systematic review and personal experience

Dorota Olczak-Kowalczyk
Beata Wolska-Kusnierz
Ewa Bernatowska

(Centr Eur J Immunol 2015; 40 (1): 109-114)
Online publish date: 2015/04/22
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Introduction: Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP) describes a pattern in which a caregiver induces a disease in a child. The symptoms may manifest in the oral cavity.

Material and methods: PubMed was researched for articles between 1990-2014, presenting manifestations of MSPB, following PRISMA 2009 guidelines, and an in-house case of MSBP with oral manifestations was presented.

Review: Among 66 articles presenting MSBP symptoms, four included descriptions of oral lesions in five children. They included: tooth loss, ulcerations and ulcers on oral mucosa, scars due to old, healed lesions, bleeding, black tongue, polysialia, and discolouration and swelling in the lips. Münchausen syndrome by proxy with participation of the mother was diagnosed in four cases.

Case: A 13-year-old girl was hospitalised because of a non-healing ulcer of the septum, loose and lost mandibular teeth, skin lesions, and suspected immunodeficiency. She had been hospitalised numerous times at other facilities. Consultations and diagnostic tests did not confirm an organic disease. The patient and her mother agreed to undergo all examinations, and some symptoms ‘went away’ during the examinations. The behaviour of the patient and her mother during hospital stays, ambulatory care, and the psychiatric observations all pointed towards MPSB. They refused further treatment at the present facility.

Conclusions: A dentist should take into account the potential ‘fabrication’ of symptoms in a child by the latter or by a caregiver. Consultations with a paediatrician or psychiatrist enable a diagnosis and treatment.


Münchausen syndrome by proxy, factitious disorder, oral cavity, tooth loss, immunodeficiency

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