Oral Potentially Malignant Epithelial Lesions and Associated Risk in the Contralateral Mucosa

Chong Huat Siar, Michelle Clare Mah, Preveen Preet Gill, Hitoshi Nagatsuka, Hidetsugu Tsujigiwa, Mehmet Gunduz, Noriyuki Nagai, Kok Han Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Statement of the problem: Early detection of potentially malignant epithelial lesions (PMELs) is aimed at improving survival rates as carcinogenesis is a multistep process and prevention is possible if these lesions are detected at an early and reversible stage of the disease. Objectives: This prospective clinical study was designed to determine the prevalence of bilateral mirror-image PMELs in patients presenting with unilateral PMELs clinically. A modified brush biopsy technique was employed to detect early cytological epithelial changes if any, in the contralateral normal oral mucosa. Materials and method: Sixty individuals presenting with unilateral PMELs were selected for this study. These comprised 30 (50%) Indians, 24 (40%) Chinese, 5 (8.3%) Malays and one (1.7%) Nepalese. All selected cases had histopathological confirmation of their primary existing lesion(s) as inclusion criteria in this study. Cases which had subsequently presented with a lesion contralateral to the existing lesion were also subjected to scalpel incisional biopsy on this second lesion. The remaining cases which presented with a unilateral PMEL at the time of this clinical study were subjected to a brush biopsy on the clinically normal looking mucosa contralateral to the existing lesion. Results: A total of 70 lesions were detected in 60 patients. The most common PMEL found was oral lichen planus. Of the 60 patients studied, 26 exhibited mirror-image lesions either metachronously (73%) or synchronously (27%). The remaining cases that had undergone brush biopsy on the contralateral side to the existing PMEL yielded normal histological results. Conclusions: Present findings demonstrated that patients presenting with PMELs in the upper aerodigestive tract are at greater risk of developing a second lesion most probably on the contralateral mirror-image site. However the efficacy of brush biopsy method in detecting epithelial changes remained inconclusive due to the small sample examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-184
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Hard Tissue Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology


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