Caviar tongue

Normal appearance of the undersurface of the tongue, showing prominent veins.

Caviar tongue (also termed sublingual varicosities or sublingual varices), is a condition characterized by purplish venous ectasias commonly found on the ventral (undersurface) of the tongue after the age of fifty.[1]:803 It is normal for there to be veins visible underneath the tongue, partly because the mucous membrane is so thin and translucent in this region, but where these vessels become dilated and tortuous, they may appear round and black like caviar.[2]

See also


  1. James, William D.; Berger, Timothy G.; et al. (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. Saunders Elsevier. ISBN 0-7216-2921-0.
  2. Viswanath, V; Nair, S; Chavan, N; Torsekar, R (Jan–Feb 2011). "Caviar tongue.". Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology. 77 (1): 78–9. doi:10.4103/0378-6323.75002. PMID 21220892.
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