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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 379-384

Role of dermatoglyphics in malignant and potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Oral Medicine, Diagnosis and Radiology, Swami Devi Dayal Dental College and Hospital, Panchkula, Haryana, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine, Diagnosis and Radiology, Mathikere Sampige Ramaiah Dental College and Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepa Jatti
Department of Oral Medicine, Diagnosis and Radiology, Swami Devi Dayal Dental College and Hospital, Golpura, Panchkula - 125 121, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-1363.155674

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Inroduction: Palmar dermatoglyphics has been studied in many diseases and alterations in normal patterns have been noted which is genetically determined. Millions of people consume tobacco, but all of them do not suffer from potentially malignant disorders (PMDs) of the oral cavity like oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) and oral leukoplakia (OL), and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). It seems likely that a genetic predisposition could be an underlying mechanism. Aims and Objectives: The present study aims to compare the dermatoglyphic patterns of such patients, in patients without habits and in patients with habits but with no lesions. Materials and Methods: Fingerprints and palm prints were studied in 90 patients of Karnataka origin, who were randomly divided into three groups: (A) 30 subjects with OSMF, OL and OSCC, (B) 30 patients with habits and no lesions, and (C) 30 healthy controls, for the purpose of finding patterns that could identify patients with PMDs and OSCC. Finger and palm prints were taken by the ink method. Prints were analysed by two examiners and were repeated 1 month later. Results: The results were tested for statistical significance. Weighted kappa statistics were used to evaluate the inter- and intra-observer agreement. It was observed that the arch pattern (60.7%) was pre-dominant with a decrease in whorl pattern (29.3%) in group A when compared with the controls (group B and C) and the difference was highly significant (P < 0.01). The study group demonstrated an increase in the mean total finger ridge count as compared to the controls and the result was found to be highly significant (P < 0.02). The kappa-value for interobserver agreement was 0.675 and for intraobserver agreement it was 0.747. Conclusion: Dermatoglyphics can be implemented as a screening tool in patients with PMDs and OSCC. Thereby, we can identify patients at increased risk for oral cancer so that risk reduction measures or earlier therapy may be instituted.

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