Oral submucous fibrosis: is it a collagen disease? A study in search for its aetiology
Keywords:Oral submucous fibrosis, Aetiology, Autoimmune disease, Collagen disease
Background: The aetiopathogenesis of oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF), though not an uncommon disease, is not yet well established. OSMF is prevalent in the geographical area of study. These were the driving factors to conduct this study. This haematological study in patients with oral submucous fibrosis was conducted to find out some definite causative features so that an effective treatment regime could be evolved.
Methods: This prospective hospital-based observational study was conducted in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) and Pathology in a tertiary care medical college hospital. The 150 clinically diagnosed patients were enrolled for the study. Routine laboratory tests were done to identify markers which would suggest autoimmune conditions.
Results: In 124 cases (83%), mild to moderately anaemia was observed while 75 cases (50%) showed raised ESR. Lymphocytosis and eosinophilia were observed in 42 cases (28%) and 48 cases (32%) respectively. Hyperglobulinaemia was observed in 45 cases (30%). In 18 cases (12%) leukocytosis was observed. In 30 cases (20%), pus cells were seen in urine, while ova and cysts were found present in 42 cases (28%).
Conclusions: The present study could not establish the commonly claimed theory of collagen disease. The exact aetiology of OSMF is not yet known. Some genetic factors seem to play a role, which make some people predisposed to react abnormally to chronic masticatories of different forms of areca nut, tobacco and areca leaves. Therefore further research in the direction of genetic studies will perhaps reveal the exact cause of OSMF.
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