Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
J R Soc Med. 1985 December; 78(12): 995–1004.
PMCID: PMC1290052

Quantitative exfoliative cytology of normal oral squames: an age, site and sex-related survey.


This study describes the development of quantitative cytological techniques and their application to oral smears. Nuclear and cell size has been measured and matched with age, sex and site in an attempt to produce a baseline for comparison with identical measurements carried out on pathological smears. The results displayed a significant variation in nuclear and cytoplasmic area between different sites. Nuclear size varied significantly with advancing age; however, this was not the case for cytoplasmic area. There was no significant variation in either criterion between males and females.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.7M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Allegra SR, Broderick PA, Corvese N. Oral cytology. Seven year oral cytology screening program in the State of Rhode Island. Analysis of 6448 cases. Acta Cytol. 1973 Jan-Feb;17(1):42–48. [PubMed]
  • Anderson WR, Belding J, Pixley E. Oral cytology. A hormonal evaluation. Acta Cytol. 1969 Feb;13(2):81–83. [PubMed]
  • Baric JM, Alman JE, Feldman RS, Chauncey HH. Influence of cigarette, pipe, and cigar smoking, removable partial dentures, and age on oral leukoplakia. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1982 Oct;54(4):424–429. [PubMed]
  • Bernstein ML, Miller RL. Oral exfoliative cytology. J Am Dent Assoc. 1978 Apr;96(4):625–629. [PubMed]
  • Blozis GG. The value of exfoliative cytology in the diagnosis of oral cancer. Int Dent J. 1972 Dec;22(4):481–486. [PubMed]
  • BODDINGTON MM. Changes in buccal cells in the anaemias. J Clin Pathol. 1959 May;12(3):222–227. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • BODDINGTON MM, SPRIGGS AI. The epithelial cells in megaloblastic anaemias. J Clin Pathol. 1959 May;12(3):228–234. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • BOEN ST. Changes in the nuclei of squamous epithelial cells in pernicious anaemia. Acta Med Scand. 1957;159(6):425–431. [PubMed]
  • Böhm N, Sandritter W. DNA in human tumors: a cytophotometric study. Curr Top Pathol. 1975;60:151–219. [PubMed]
  • Brown AM, Young A. The effects of age and smoking on the maturation of the oral mucosa. Acta Cytol. 1970 Nov-Dec;14(9):566–569. [PubMed]
  • Cohen L. Some observations on the use of exfoliative cytology in the diagnosis of oral lesions. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1966 Apr;21(4):458–464. [PubMed]
  • Cowpe JG. Quantitative exfoliative cytology of normal and abnormal oral mucosal squames: preliminary communication. J R Soc Med. 1984 Nov;77(11):928–931. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cowpe JG, Longmore RB. Nuclear area and Feulgen DNA content of normal buccal mucosal smears. J Oral Pathol. 1981 Apr;10(2):81–86. [PubMed]
  • Dokumov SI, Spasov SA. A comparison of oral and vaginal smears in women with normal menstrual cycles. Acta Cytol. 1970 Jan;14(1):31–34. [PubMed]
  • Doyle JL, Manhold JH., Jr Feulgen microspectrophotometry of oral cancer and leukoplakia. J Dent Res. 1975 Nov-Dec;54(6):1196–1199. [PubMed]
  • Finch RR. A classification of nuclear aberration in relation to malignancy associated changes (MAC). Acta Cytol. 1971 Nov-Dec;15(6):553–558. [PubMed]
  • Folsom TC, White CP, Bromer L, Canby HF, Garrington GE. Oral exfoliative study. Review of the literature and report of a three-year study. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1972 Jan;33(1):61–74. [PubMed]
  • Fosså SD, Kaalhus O. Computer assisted image analysis of Feulgen-stained cell nuclei from transitional cell carcinoma of the human urinary bladder. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand A. 1977 Sep;85(5):590–602. [PubMed]
  • Franklin CD, Smith CJ. Stereological analysis of histological parameters in experimental premalignant hamster cheek pouch epithelium. J Pathol. 1980 Mar;130(3):201–215. [PubMed]
  • Grove GL. Application of microspectrophotometry to biomedical research. J Histochem Cytochem. 1979 Oct;27(10):1375–1376. [PubMed]
  • Hayes RL, Berg GW, Ross WL. Oral cytology: its value and its limitations. J Am Dent Assoc. 1969 Sep;79(3):649–657. [PubMed]
  • Hillman RW, Smith HS, Levine JS. Cytoplasmic granules in buccal cells: an age-related phenomenon? J Gerontol. 1972 Jan;27(1):18–21. [PubMed]
  • JACOBS A. Oral cornification in anaemic patients. J Clin Pathol. 1959 May;12(3):235–237. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kramer IR, Lucas RB, el-Labban N, Lister L. A computer-aided study on the tissue changes in oral keratoses and lichen planus, and an analysis of case groupings by subjective and objective criteria. Br J Cancer. 1970 Sep;24(3):407–426. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kramer IR, Lucas RB, el-Labban N, Lister L. The use of discriminant analysis for examining the histological feathers of oral keratoses and lichen planus. Br J Cancer. 1970 Dec;24(4):673–683. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lee LH, Pappelis AJ, Pappelis GA, Kaplan HM. Cellular and nuclear dry mass and area changes during human oral mucosa cell development. Acta Cytol. 1973 May-Jun;17(3):214–219. [PubMed]
  • Longmore RB, Cowpe J. Nuclear area and Feulgen DNA content of normal and abnormal oral squames. Anal Quant Cytol. 1982 Mar;4(1):33–38. [PubMed]
  • Main DM, Ritchie GM. Cyclic changes in oral smears from young menstruating women. Br J Dermatol. 1967 Jan;79(1):20–30. [PubMed]
  • MILLER SC, SOBERMAN A, STAHL SS. A study of the cornification of the oral mucosa of young male adults. J Dent Res. 1951 Feb;30(1):4–11. [PubMed]
  • MONTGOMERY PW. A study of exfoliative cytology of normal human oral mucosa. J Dent Res. 1951 Feb;30(1):12–18. [PubMed]
  • MONTGOMERY PW, VON HAAM E. A study of the exfoliative cytology of oral leucoplakia. J Dent Res. 1951 Apr;30(2):260–264. [PubMed]
  • MONTO RW, RIZEK RA, FINE G. Observations on the exfolative cytology and histology of the oral mucous membranes in iron deficiency. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1961 Aug;14:965–974. [PubMed]
  • Murthy UK, Thomas JA. Buccal mucosal cytology and its relationship to the normal menstrual cycle. Indian J Med Res. 1977 Jul;66(1):49–54. [PubMed]
  • NIEBURGS HE, HERMAN BE, REISMAN H. Buccal cell changes in patients with malignant tumors. Lab Invest. 1962 Jan;2:80–88. [PubMed]
  • Pappelis GA, Pappelis AJ, Courtis WS. Nuclear dry mass and area variations in human buccal mucosa cells. Acta Cytol. 1973 Jan-Feb;17(1):37–41. [PubMed]
  • PETERS H. Cytologic smears from the mouth; cellular changes in disease and after radiation. Am J Clin Pathol. 1958 Mar;29(3):219–225. [PubMed]
  • Pfitzer P, Pape HD. Characterization of tumor cell populations by DNA-measurements. Acta Cytol. 1973 Jan-Feb;17(1):19–26. [PubMed]
  • Pfitzer P, Pape HD. Investigation of DNA-content of leukoplakia cells or oral mucosa. J Maxillofac Surg. 1975 Jun;3(2):119–124. [PubMed]
  • Quaranta C, Pica A, Galgano A. Variazioni nelle cellule superficiali della mucosa orale nelle donne adulte, in rapporto al ciclo sessuale ed alle modalità del prelievo. Arch Stomatol (Napoli) 1980 Apr-Jun;21(2):265–279. [PubMed]
  • SANDLER HC, STAHL SS, CAHN LR, FREUND HR. Exfoliative cytology for detection of early mouth cancer. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1960 Aug;13:994–1009. [PubMed]
  • Scott J, Valentine JA, St Hill CA, Balasooriya BA. A quantitative histological analysis of the effects of age and sex on human lingual epithelium. J Biol Buccale. 1983 Dec;11(4):303–315. [PubMed]
  • SELBACH GJ, VONHAAM E. THE CLINICAL VALUE OF ORAL CYTOLOGY. Acta Cytol. 1963 Nov-Dec;7:337–345. [PubMed]
  • Shafer WG, Waldron CA. Erythroplakia of the oral cavity. Cancer. 1975 Sep;36(3):1021–1028. [PubMed]
  • Silverman Sol, Bilimoria KF, Bhargava K, Mani NJ, Shah RA. Cytologic, histologic and clinical correlations of precancerous and cancerous oral lesions in 57,518 industrial workers of Gujarat, India. Acta Cytol. 1977 Mar-Apr;21(2):196–198. [PubMed]
  • Sprenger E, Witte S. The diagnostic significance of nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid measurement in automated cytology. J Histochem Cytochem. 1979 Jan;27(1):520–521. [PubMed]
  • STAATS OJ, GOLDSBY JW. Graphic comparison of intraoral exfoliative cytology technics. Acta Cytol. 1963 Mar-Apr;7:107–110. [PubMed]
  • Waldron CA, Shafer WG. Leukoplakia revisited. A clinicopathologic study 3256 oral leukoplakias. Cancer. 1975 Oct;36(4):1386–1392. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press