Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 165-172

Efficacy of oral brush cytology in the evaluation of the oral premalignant and malignant lesions

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
2 Department of General Pathology, SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
M Babshet
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, SDM College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad - 580 009, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9371.86342

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Objective: In the present study, oral brush cytology of premalignant and malignant lesions was performed using tooth brush. The cytopathological diagnosis of brush cytology was compared with that of punch biopsy. The reliability of oral brush cytology using tooth brush was assessed in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Materials and Methods: A total of 67 patients, 32 premalignant lesions and other 35 frank oral carcinomas, were included in the study. All patients underwent oral brush cytology using a toothbrush followed by punch biopsy. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated. Cytopathology and histopathology of premalignant and malignant lesions were compared using Mann-Whitney U test. Inter- and intra-examiner reliability was calculated using Rank-correlation coefficient. Results: Two in premalignant group and five in malignant group were marked insufficient. 18% of cases were false negatives. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 77%, 100%, 100% and 38%, respectively. Statistical analysis showed P>0.05, suggesting that there is no significant difference between histopathology and brush cytology in assessing both premalignant and malignant lesions. Inter- and intra-examiner reliability were 99.22% and 99.77%, respectively. Conclusion: Brush cytology using a tooth brush is reliable and can be easily performed with less cost and discomfort to the patient. It is useful in those situations when a patient refuses to have a biopsy performed or when medically compromised patients would be exposed to unnecessary surgical risks. It can be used for screening for suspicious oral lesions, and may have applications in resource-challenged areas.

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