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A case-control study of oral epithelial proliferative markers among Sudanese Toombak dippers using micronuclei assay, argyrophilic nucleolar organizer region, Papanicolaou and crystal violet methods

Anass M. Abbas, Hussain G. Ahmed
  • Anass M. Abbas
    Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Najran University, Saudi Arabia; Laboratory Medicine, Histopathology and Cytology, Alneelain University, Khartoum, Sudan, Sudan |
  • Hussain G. Ahmed
    Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Khartoum, Sudan; Department of Pathology, University of Hail, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia


The use of Toombak has been reported to play a major role in the etiology of oral cancer in Sudan. The cellular proliferative activity on the oral epithelium of 210 Toombak dippers was assessed by applying the micronuclei frequency, mean argyrophilic nucleolar organizer region (AgNOR) counts, Papanicolaou method, and 1% crystal violet stain. Participants were divided into 3 groups: 200 were apparently healthy individuals, 100 were Toombak users (cases), 100 were non-tobacco users (control) and 10 were patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas. Cytological atypia was identified among 4 (4%). Toombak users and was not found among the control group (P<0.04). The micronuclei frequencies were higher in Toombak users (1.026) than in the control group (0.356) (P<0.0001). The mean AgNOR counts in Toombak users (2.423) were higher than control group (1.303) (P<0.0001). Neither Toombak users nor control group showed mitotic figures in 1% crystal violet method. The results of this research showed that Toombak dipping is a high risk factor for increase in the cellular proliferation in the oral mucosa. The cytological proliferative marker methods used are useful for screening Toombak users.


micronuclei, Toombak, crystal violet, AgNOR, oral cancer

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Submitted: 2012-12-16 23:56:46
Published: 2013-07-17 11:26:09
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Copyright (c) 2013 Anass M. Abbas, Hussain G. Ahmed

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