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Qualitative Assessment of Collagen and Elastic Fibers in Oral Submucous Fibrosis (OSMF), OSMF with Dysplasia and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Arising from OSMF: A Histochemical Study.

Head and Neck Pathology 2023 October 17
BACKGROUND: Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a habit related potentially malignant disorder seen mainly in South Asian people. The malignancy arising from OSMF has been regarded as low grade with better outcome. The present study was orchestrated to histochemically analyze collagen and elastic fibres in OSMF without dysplasia, OSMF with dysplasia and OSMF turning malignant.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 100 cases (80 cases and 20 healthy controls) were included after obtaining clearance from ethical committee. All cases were subjected to Van Gieson staining for collagen and a novel simple method for elastic fibres (Orcein staining). Data were analyzed using SPSS software.

RESULTS: Controls showed haphazard arrangement of collagen and elastic fibres. The collagen bundles were parallelly arranged in OSMF without dysplasia and OSMF with dysplasia; the collagen was however haphazard in cases of OSMF turning malignant. As with collagen, elastic fibres were also haphazardly arranged in the control group; in contrast, the elastic fibres were predominantly arranged in a criss-cross pattern in the other study groups. The difference in orientation and density among the groups was statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: With advancement of stage there is increased collagenization of OSMF, as the condition acquires dysplastic changes and turns malignant, microenvironment alters resulting in increased activity of collagenases. However, the arrangement of more resistant elastic fibres depicts the better outcome, once OSMF shows malignant transformation, limiting locoregional and distant spread.

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