Disordered arrangements of basal cells as a prognostic factor for oral epithelial dysplasia: a morphometric study of 96 cases

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The aim of this study was to assess objectively the predictive value of the atypical appearance of the basal layer of oral epithelial dysplasia (OED) for development into invasive carcinoma.

Study Design.

Ninety-six OED cases were examined. These cases were divided into 2 groups: 38 cases that developed into invasive carcinoma and 58 cases that did not. Furthermore, 12 histopathological factors were quantified morphometrically in each case and assessed by Cox's proportional hazards model.


The standard deviation of the length between the apical membrane of the basal cells and the basement membrane was significantly associated with development of OED into invasive carcinoma (P < .001; hazard ratio, 3.124).


We provided novel, objective data demonstrating that an atypical appearance, especially the disordered arrangement of the basal cells representing loss of polarity, may be useful for predicting the development of OED into invasive carcinoma of the tongue.

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