Comparative Study of Exfoliated Oral Mucosal Cell Micronucleus Frequency in Potentially Malignant and Malignant Lesions

Sarika Laxman Dindgire, Suchitra Gosavi, Ramniwas Kumawat, Sindhu Ganvir, Vinay Hazarey


Objectives: 1. To observe and compare the micronuclei (MN) index in potentially malignant lesions/ conditions and malignant cases and to predict the incidence of oral squamous cell carcinoma in tobacco users by using the micronucleus index. 2. To compare Papanicolaou (Pap) and May-Grunwald Giemsa (MGG) stain as two techniques to detect micronuclei in potentially malignant and malignant cases. Study design: Cytological smear of 10 patients with habit of tobacco using in any form without any lesion, 20 smokers with potentially malignant lesions/ conditions and 20 smokers with oral squamous cell carcinoma were studied using Pap and MGG staining method. The frequency of MN was determined under 40X. The mean MN count was compared using the ANOVA with Bonferroni test for statistical analysis. Results: Average MN frequencies were increased in potentially malignant lesions/ conditions as compared to tobacco users without any lesion and further increased in oral squamous cell carcinomas, suggesting that MN are a biomarker of neoplastic progression. Conclusion: 1) Increase incidence of MN counts from tobacco users without any lesion to premalignant lesions/ conditions to carcinomas suggests a link of this biomarker with neoplastic progression. The MN count can be used as a noninvasive early detection tool, for mass screening, patient education and to check for the efficacy of treatment. 2)  Pap stain is the preferred method in the field studies for scoring and detecting MN compared to MGG.


Micronuclei;Cytology;Papanicolaou;May-Grunwald Giemsa Stain;Preneoplastic Conditions; Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

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