Background: Palatal neoplasm cases in human are very rare. More than 90% neoplasms of the palate is squamous cell type. Not only cytological pleomorphism but also nuclear anomalies are reported to be observed in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). But, site specific cytological pleomorphisms are not reported so far. Therefore, an attempt has undertaken to investigate the cytopathology of human palatal neoplasms, pattern of cervical lymph node (CLN) metastasis and to analyse the probable etiological risk factors associated with it in the present study.
Methodology: In a hospital-based study, out of 136 oral cases, 9 palatal cases (6 male and 3 female) registered during May 2007 to May 2009 were included in this study. Detail case-history including the nature and types of addiction of each individual was recorded prior to the collection of samples. Two scraped exfoliated cytosmears were collected from the affected site on the pre cleaned-coded glass-slides. Collected cytosmears were immediately fixed in 1:3 aceto-alcohol (1 part of glacial acetic acid and 3 parts of ethyl alcohol). One set of smears was stained with Papanicolaou’s stain and the other was counter-stained with Giemsa’s stain for cytopathological analysis. American Joint Committee for Cancer Staging and End-Results Reporting (AJC) formulated TNM (Tumor-Node-Metastasis) System for staging of OSCC was followed.
Result: Cytopathologically, a number of pleomorphic cytological atypias, such as, keratinized spindle cell (KSC), keratinized tadpole cell (KTC), keratinized strap (Antischkow) cell (KSC-A), large and small keratinized fiber cells (KFC), large and small keratinized round cells (KRC), micronucleated cell (MNC), plump keratinized squamous cell (PKSC) and non-keratinized malignant squamous cell (NMSC) were observed in such palatal neoplasms. Except NMSCs, all other cells were keratinized. Out of these, PKSC and MNC were well differentiated; KSC, KTC, KFC, KRC and KSCA were moderately differentiated and NMSC was poorly differentiated. Interestingly, in addition to the micronucleated cell (MNC), KSC-A was found to be a modal cytological atypia irrespective of age, site, sex and degree of pathogenicity which may be attributed to the addiction of tobacco in general and smoking in particular.
Conclusion: Chewing and smoking of various form of tobacco and drinking of alcohol contribute a lot to the genesis of cytological pleomorphism in human palatal neoplasm. Typically atypical cells like KSC, KTC, KSC-A, KFC, KRC, PKSC, MNC and NMSCs although found less in number, modal occurrence of KSC-A along with the MNC in all the palatal neoplasm may be directly correlated with any form of tobacco smoking.