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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2012 Sep;114(3):358-64. doi: 10.1016/j.oooo.2012.06.008.

The use of quantitative cytology in identifying high-risk oral lesions in community practice.

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  • 1Department of Dentistry, Vancouver General Hospital, British Columbia, Canada.



This study evaluated whether quantitative cytology (QC) can disclose abnormal DNA content (aneuploidy) and abnormal nuclear morphology of high-risk potentially malignant disorders (PMDs) of the oral mucosa found in the community in reference to clinicohistopathologic features.


A total of 171 patients at community-based clinic with suspicious oral lesions were evaluated with concurrent but independent histopathologic and QC assessments.


QC-positive results were associated with oral lesions with higher clinical risk factors: large size, nonhomogeneous surface texture, and located at high-risk anatomic sites. Only 3% of benign/reactive and 5% of low-risk PMDs were QC positive, while 92% of high-risk PMDs and 88% of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) were QC positive. The sensitivity and specificity of QC for detection of high-grade dysplasia/SCC were 89% and 97%.


QC could serve as an adjunctive tool for the detection of high-risk PMD/SCC requiring immediate clinical care.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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