Cytomorphologic Analysis of Papanicolaou Stained Smears Collected from Floor of the Mouth Mucosa in Patients with or without Oral Malignancy


Abstract: Cytology has been found to be a reliable and accurate technique when used to diagnose early malignant transformation in areas of the body where visual examination is difficult or impossible. The factors initiating neoplastic growth are still not clearly understood. Thus, automated instruments, capable of objective and quantitative cell analysis, have been used in descriptive morphology, for the assessment of tumour cell heterogeneity. Smears were collected from a group of 33 patients presenting with squamous cell carcinoma. Nine females and 24 males presenting with squamous cell carcinoma of the floor of the mouth underwent quantitative cytological assessment. These slides were fixed immediately with cytofix spray and then stained with Papanicolaou stain. Fifty randomly selected cells and their nuclei in each Papanicolaou stained specimen were measured using a X40 objective lens using a Seescan TV Image Analyser. Statistically, NA and CA pairs were compared using a paired t-test. Smears collected from the tumours displayed a statistically significant elevation in mean NA (p<0.01) and reduction in mean CA (p<0.001) when compared with normal smears from patients with no oral lesions. In conclusion, cytomorphologic assessment of the Papanicolaou stained oral smears collected from suspicious lesions was found to be a significant diagnostic factor in relation to malignancy.

Keywords: Papanicolaou smear, quantitative cytology, Seescan TV image analyser, oral malignancy

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