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VOLUME 14 , ISSUE 5 ( September-October, 2013 ) > List of Articles


Estimation of Serum Copper and Zinc Levels in Oral Submucous Fibrosis: An Atomic Absorption Spectroscopic Study

H Neethi

Citation Information : Neethi H. Estimation of Serum Copper and Zinc Levels in Oral Submucous Fibrosis: An Atomic Absorption Spectroscopic Study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2013; 14 (5):801-805.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1406

Published Online: 00-10-2013

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2013; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Background and objectives

Biochemical derangements of microelements although reported in oral cancer is poorly understood in oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF). Hence, the present study was carried out to estimate and compare the serum copper and zinc levels among different histopathological stages of OSMF with that of healthy controls.

Materials and methods

Thirty histopathologically diagnosed cases of OSMF and 30 healthy controls reporting to MS Ramaiah Dental College and Hospital (MSRDCH), Bengaluru, were included in the study. The histopathological staging of OSMF was done as per criteria given by Pindborg and Sirsat (1966). Blood samples were collected and the serum copper and zinc levels were estimated using atomic absorption spectroscopy. The results were statistically analyzed using independent t-test and Kruskal-Wallis test.


The mean serum copper levels were increased (p < 0.0005) and zinc levels were decreased (p < 0.01) in OSMF patients when compared to that of controls. The mean serum copper levels showed an increasing trend from stage I to IV (p = 0.004) while zinc levels showed a decreasing trend from stage I to IV (p = 0.04) in OSMF patients.


The serum copper and zinc levels in OSMF showed a significant difference in comparison to that of controls and between the histopathological stages. These findings indicate that serum copper and zinc may have a contributory role in the etiopathogenesis of OSMF.

Clinical relevance

Although the role of the trace elements as etiological factors is minor, derangements noted in the serum copper and zinc levels could be correlated with diseased progression and possibly explain the transformation of OSMF into malignancy. Thus, they can be used as prognostic markers and can be of value for proactive intervention.

How to cite this article

Neethi H, Patil S, Rao RS. Estimation of Serum Copper and Zinc Levels in Oral Submucous Fibrosis: An Atomic Absorption Spectroscopic Study. J Contemp Dent Pract 2013;14(5):801-805.

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