Study of Prevalence of Koilocytes in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma


  • Smitha T
  • C V Mohan
  • Hemavathy S


Ever since Dr. Harald zur Hausen won the noble prize in medicine in 2008 for discovering human papilloma virus (HPV) as the etiological factor for cervical cancer, the research has been robust in this field. More recent data from case–control studies and systematic review indicate that HPV is an independent risk factor for oral and oropharyngeal carcinomas. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) represents 90% of all malignant tumours that affect the oral cavity. The most known viral cytopathic effect is koilocytosis, considered to be a major characteristic of HPV infection. Koilocytes are epithelial cells characterised by perinuclear haloes surrounding condensed nuclei and is accepted as pathognomonic (characteristic of a particular disease) of HPV infection. Aim: The aim of this study was to verify the prevalence of koilocytes in OSCCs. Methodology: A retrospective analysis was conducted on 60 paraffin-embedded tissue specimens that were obtained from patients with a histopathological diagnosis of OSCC. Haematoxylin and eosin-stained slides were submitted to examine under light microscopy, specifically for the determination of the presence of koilocytes and were analysed. Conclusion: The results suggest that the presence of koilocytes is reliable for the detection of HPV presence in routine histopathology in OSCCs.

KEYWORDS: Oral squamous cell carcinoma, Oral cancer, HPV, DNA Virus, Oral carcinogenesis


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Original Research