Cytokeratin expression in oral exfoliative cytology: effect of temperature and fixation

G. R. Ogden, S. McQueen, E. B. Lane, M. W. Green, D. Hopwood, D. M. Chisholm

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    The identification of keratin expression within oral cytology may be useful in the diagnosis of clinically suspicious oral mucosal lesions. There may be wide variation in the temperature at which such smears are stored, prior to processing. Conventionally, rapid fixation or storage at low temperatures is recommended to preserve kertin expression within tissue biopsies. No previous study has assessed whether this is true for oral cytology.
    Smears were taken from clinically normal buccal mucosa. For each temperature assessed (−70, −40, −22, +5, +20 and +26° C), one smear was spray-fixed (Vale Smear Fix) and one air-dried, prior to storage for 4 days, and then staining with the pan-epithelial antikeratin antibody, LP34.
    Preservation of keratin expression was assessed as either weak (zero to few positive cells) or strong (most cells positive). The results were analysed using logistic regression with the statistical modelling package, GLIM. Over the range of temperatures studied, spray fixation did not appear to improve the identification of keratin expression. Although the best preservation was obtained at lower temperatures, keratin expression was still adequate after 4 days at 20°C.
    Hence, a delay in processing of 4 days would still allow detectable expression in oral exfoliative cytology even at room temperature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)176-179
    Number of pages4
    JournalHistochemical Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1992


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