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Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2004 Apr;47(2):206-9.

Skin cancers in chronic arsenic toxicity--a study of predictive value of some proliferative markers.

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Department of Pathology, University College of Medicine, Kolkata.


Prolonged exposure to arsenic contaminated water produces various clinical features, cutaneous features e.g. melanosis, keratosis and cancers being very common. Evaluation of such lesions by proliferative markers can provide useful information in regards to the biological behaviour of the lesions. Thus, cases with high proliferative status can be ominous sign for development of cancers. We studied skin biopsy of 42 cases. These were evaluated with AgNOR score and PCNA stain, in addition to H & E examination. Here, invasive cancer cases had mean AgNOR score of 3.56, those with severe dysplasia had 3.0, moderate and mild dysplasia scored 1.73, benign changes had mean score of 1.35 while normal control cases had 1.08. PCNA index in cancers was above 50, that of severe dysplasia 25-30, mild to moderate dysplasia 1.0-5.0, those with benign changes 0.5 -1.0 and normal control had LI of less than 0.5%. PCNA has the advantage of less chance of observer error over AgNOR stain.

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