Assessment of cytology techniques in oral mucosa of Sjögren's syndrome patients

Beatriz Busamia, Carla Gobbi, Eduardo Albiero, Marcelo Yorio


The aim of the present research project was to compare two techniques for oral cytology study (exfoliative cytology and impression cytology) in order to assess changes in oral mucosa which might allow non -invasive diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome cases (SS). Patients: 50 patients were selected, patients were paired by age and gender, and had been diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome according to criteria of the American-European Consensus. Patients were distributed into the following three experimental groups: Healthy control group (C), n = 14, Dry mouth and eyes group without SS, (ME) n = 13, and SS group n = 23. Material and methods: A cell harvesting brush (Cytobrush) was used for the exfoliative cytology procedure, sliding it along a glass plate and later fixating harvested cells in 95% ethanol. Cellulose acetate paper (Millipore Hawp 304®) was used for the impression cytology procedure. The paper was in 1 cm long stripes which were placed on the oral mucosa surface above upper vestibular groove; stripes were immobilized and pressure was applied for three seconds. Papanicolau (PAP) technique was used for dyeing. Morphology and histomorphology were assessed studying the following: cytoplasmic area (CA), nuclear areas (NA) nucleus-cytoplasm relationship (N:C) and amount of cells per square millimeter (mm2). Results: Both techniques revealed the following in C: isolated single-layered epithelial cells, basophils, normal central nuclei, 20 to 30 per mm2 , N:C ratio 1:8. In the eye and mouth group (EM): grouped and folded isolated cells, cytoplasm with eosinophilic predominance increase of cell amount to 40 per mm2 , nucleus-cytoplasm relationship N/C 1:4. SS patients showed the following: nuclear area with denser chromatin, 400 cells per mm2 , and 1:2 N/C relationship with respect to mouth and ears and control. Statistically significant differences wereobserved among groups in all studied characteristics. Conclusion: We can infer that impression cytology can be used in systemic and oral lesion’s diagnosis in patients afflicted with hyposalivation.

Palabras clave

Oral mucosa, cytological diagnosis, hyposalivation

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