Oral Cytology for HIV: A New Diagnostic Tool?

Vaibhav Mahesh Jagad, Nandita Shenoy, John Ramapuram, Amitha Lewis, N. Srikant, Aditi Sarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To asses morphological and morphometrical alterations of oral squamous epithelial cells in HIV infected individuals, and determine its diagnostic significance for HIV infection. Materials and Methods: Informed Consent was obtained from all study subjects. 40 adult HIV infected patients (experimental group) and 40 adult non-infected volunteers (control group) participated. Age, occupation, and relevant medical history were recorded. The following laboratory tests reports were recorded: complete blood cell counts, blood glucose levels, serum iron and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Oral smears were collected from normal appearing tongue and buccal mucosa of the individuals by exfoliative cytology. The cells were morphologically analysed and the nuclear area (NA), the cytoplasmic area (CA) and the nucleus-to-cytoplasm area ratio (NA/ CA) were calculated. Cell yield, cell cohesion, presence/absence of inflammatory cells and candida were observed. Results: The cytological smears of HIV patients showed abundant cell yield and the epithelial cells were found to be in close cohesive clusters and both findings were found to be statistically significant. Nuclear cytoplasmic ratio was seen to be increased in 93.8% of HIV positive patientsand Mild to moderate pleomorphism was observed in 17.9% of HIV positive patients. HIV positive patients had a diminished inflammatory response and this was found to be statistically significant. Conclusion: Statistically significant deviations from normal oral epithelium were found in the study conducted. With further research, oral exfoliative cytology may form a new, painless, inexpensive diagnostic method for HIV infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-327
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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