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CytoJournal 2016,  13:6

Estimation of iron overloads using oral exfoliative cytology in beta-thalassemia major patients

1 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, JN Kapoor DAV (c) Dental College, Yamuna Dental College, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Swami Devi Dyal Hospital and Dental College, Barwala, Panchkula, Haryana, India
3 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Yamuna Dental College, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India
4 Public Health Dentistry, JN Kapoor DAV (c) Dental College, Yamuna Dental College, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Swati Leekha
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, JN Kapoor DAV (c) Dental College, Yamuna Dental College, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1742-6413.178993

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Background: Iron overload is a medical condition that occurs when too much of the mineral iron builds up inside the body and produces a toxic reaction. Thalassemia is a genetic disorder of hemoglobin synthesis, which requires regular blood transfusion therapy, and the lack of specific excretory pathways for iron in humans leads to iron overload in the body tissues. It is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in these patients. The estimation of iron levels in exfoliated buccal mucosal cells may provide a simple, noninvasive, and a safe procedure for estimating the iron overload by using the Perls' Prussian blue stain. Methods: Smears were obtained from buccal mucosa of 40 randomly selected beta-thalassemia major patients and 40 healthy subjects as controls. Smears were stained with Perls' Prussian blue method. Blood samples were taken for estimation of serum ferritin levels. Images of smears were analyzed using the software image J software version 1.47v and correlated with serum ferritin. Results: Perls' positivity was observed in 87.5% of thalassemic patients with a positive correlation to serum ferritin levels. Conclusion: The use of exfoliative buccal mucosal cells for the evaluation of iron overloads in the body provides us with a diagnostic medium that is noninvasive, easy to collect, store, and transport, cost effective, and above all reliable.


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