Study of exfoliated cells in the buccal mucosa of smokers and non-smokers – a cytological comparative study

Twinky Merlin Thomas., Maya Ramesh and B.Sekar

Oral exfoliative cytology is popular as an oral cancer screening tool, as it is painless, non-invasive procedure and is well accepted by patients as it cause less discomfort. Oral habits like smoking, chewing tobacco are documented as initiators of dysplastic changes in the oral mucosa. Tobacco smoking has been attributed as a major risk factor. Aim: To compare the cytology of apparently normal mucosa in tobacco smokers with that of non-smokers. Materials and Methods: Study population comprised of tobacco smokers who constituted the study group and non-smokers who constituted the control group. Smears of buccal mucosa were collected from 10 smokers and 10 non-smokers and stained by Haematoxylin and Eosin stain. Results: We found that cytology from smokers showed more clumping of cells, pleomorphism, binucleation and micronuclei compared to non-smokers. Non-smokers showed more of normal cells. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate that mild to moderate pleomorphism, clumps of cells, binucleation, micronuclei were seen in the oral cavity of smokers compared to non-smokers. This was a short study conducted in our department to motivate smokers to quit smoking by interpretation of the results.

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