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J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2019 May-Aug;23(2):307. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_111_19.

Eosinophils: An imperative histopathological prognostic indicator for oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Government Dental College and Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Kamineni Institute of Dental Sciences, Narketpally, Nalgonda, Telangana, India.



Inflammation in tumor microenvironment assists in both promotion and growth of tumor. Tumor-associated tissue eosinophilia (TATE) is the term used when eosinophils are observed in a tumor tissue with inflammatory infiltrate. Although carcinogenesis with inflammation is one of the important hallmarks, the exact role of eosinophils remains unclear. Various studies on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) that focused on eosinophils reported both favorable and unfavorable prognosis in cancer tissue, because of which the exact function of eosinophils still remains uncertain.

Aims and Objectives:

The present study aims at identifying the role of TATE in OSCC and in malignant transformation of oral epithelial dysplasia (OED).

Materials and Methods:

The study includes 70 samples that divided into two groups, of which 50 histopathologically proven cases of different grades of OSCC and 20 cases of OED (oral leukoplakia). Congo red stain was used to stain the tissue sections. Each slide was viewed under high power in 10 consecutive microscopic fields for counting of eosinophils.


Statistical analysis of values obtained was done using ANOVA, unpaired t-test and Mann-Whitney test. The results were statistically significant (P < 0.05) with a mean total eosinophil count of 2.12 in OED and 4.31 in OSCC.


The present study showed higher eosinophil counts in OSCC when compared to dysplasia which should prompt for a thorough evaluation of tumor front for invasiveness. Therefore, tissue eosinophil count may be used as an adjunct to predict the malignant transformation of dysplastic lesions to OSCC.


Congo red stain; malignant transformation; oral leukoplakia; oral squamous cell carcinoma; tumor-associated tissue eosinophilia

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