J Cancer Prev.  2015 Dec;20(4):275-280. 10.15430/JCP.2015.20.4.275.

Evaluation and Comparison of the Biopathology of Collagen and Inflammation in the Extracellular Matrix of Oral Epithelial Dysplasias and Inflammatory Fibrous Hyperplasia Using Picrosirius Red Stain and Polarising Microscopy: A Preliminary Study

  • 1Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Mar Baselios Dental College and Hospital, Kothamangalam, Ernakulam, India. somaphilips@yahoo.com
  • 2Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Government Dental College, Kottayam, India.
  • 3Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Mar Baselios Dental College and Hospital, Kothamangalam, Ernakulam, India.
  • 4Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Mar Baselios Dental College and Hospital, Kothamangalam, Ernakulam, India.
  • 5Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, Government Dental College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.


The role of tumour inflammation and the dysplastic epithelial-stromal interactions on the nature of collagen fibres in the extracellular matrix of dysplastic epithelium is not fully understood. The present study was aimed to evaluate and compare the inflammation and pathological stromal collagen (loosely packed thin disorganized collagen) present in mild, moderate and severe epithelial dysplasias with that of inflammatory fibrous hyperplasias. The basement membrane intactness of epithelial dysplasias was also evaluated to determine if dysplastic epithelial mesenchymal interaction has any role in the integrity of stromal collagen in epithelial dysplasia.
Oral epithelial dysplasias, inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia and normal oral mucosal samples were used for the study. Packing, thickness and orientation of collagen fibres in mild, moderate and severe grades of oral epithelial dysplasias (n = 24), inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia (n = 8) and normal oral mucosal samples (n = 8) were analysed based on the polarisation of collagen fibres in picrosirius red polarising stain under polarising microscope.
All the grades of epithelial dysplasias showed greenish yellow birefringence confirming the presence of loosely arranged pathological collagen in the presence of moderate inflammation. All the cases of inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia showed red polarisation hue and moderate inflammation. A statistically significant difference was found in the packing and orientation of collagen when epithelial dysplasias and inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia were compared (P < 0.01). When the intactness of basement membrane integrity was compared in all the groups of epithelial dysplasia, a statistically significant result was obtained (P < 0.05).
Presence of significant amount of loosely packed thin disoriented collagen even in mild epithelial dysplasia suggests that tumourigenic factors are released to connective tissue stroma much earlier than expected. Hence we suggest considering the integrity of extracellular matrix collagen, intactness of basement membrane and inflammation associated with dysplasia along with the anaplasia of epithelial cells in the microscopic assessment of dysplastic epithelium.


Oral mucosa; Dysplasia; Extracellular matrix; Collagen

MeSH Terms

Basement Membrane
Connective Tissue
Epithelial Cells
Extracellular Matrix*
Mouth Mucosa
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