Background: Cancer cells exhibit a characteristic intrinsic ability of uncontrolled cell proliferation which plays a vital role in tumor development and progression. The Ki-67 antigen expression is strictly associated with cell proliferation which detects the cells entering the cell cycle. In addition, computer aided image analysis provides an objective and highly reproducible histological evaluation of OSCC. Assessment of Ki-67 expression along with morphometry may help in early and precise diagnosis and prognostication of OSCC. Aims: To correlate the ki-67 expression and the morphometrical parameters of oral squamous cell carcinomas and to assess the efficacy of the correlation in OSCC prognostication. Methods and material: OSCC cases (n=105) were examined immuno histochemically using Ki-67 antigen The nuclear area (NA), cell area (CA), nuclear perimeter (NP) and cell perimeter (CP) assessed using “image J 1.34 software”. The data was statistically analyzed. Results: Highly significant correlation was found between Ki-67 expression and the advancing grades of OSCC (p<.0001). NA (p=0.025), CA (p<.0001), NP (p=.027) and CP (p<.0001) of poorly differentiated OSCC were significantly lower than well differentiated and moderately differentiated OSCC. Follow up analysis revealed nuclear area and cell area to be higher in the recurrent cases than the non recurrent ones. Conclusion: Assessment of Ki-67 expression and morphometry help in early and precise diagnosis and prognostication of OSCC. A correlation between Ki-67 expression and morphometrical analysis could not be ascertained in this study. Further studies with a larger sample number may provide more definitive results.
Keywords: Oral squamous cell carcinoma, Cell proliferation, Immunohistochemistry, Ki-67 expression, Morphometry, Prognosis