Background: Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a potentially malignant disorder with a multifactorial etiology. Malnutrition is a major problem for the inhabitants of most countries where OSMF is prevalent. Recently, a new direction in the etiopathogenesis was provided by the identification of fibrinogen degradation products (FDP) in the plasma of OSMF patients.
Aims and objectives: To assess the role of FDP in the etiology of OSMF and to correlate with the nutritional status by evaluating the total serum protein level. The study also determines to evaluate the correlation between the levels of plasma FDP with respect to the staging and grading of OSMF. Correlation between the levels of Total Serum Protein (TSP) with respect to the staging and grading of OSMF was also evaluated.
Materials and methods: The study included 30 cases clinically and histopathologically diagnosed as oral submucous fibrosis. The FDP levels were assessed using both qualitative and semi quantitative method as supplied by 'Tulip Diagnostics (P) Ltd. Total Serum Protein (TSP) estimation was done by Biuret method using Liquixx Protein kit by Erba, Manheim.
Results: The study indicates that in qualitative assessment of FDP only 14 subjects showed the presence of FDP levels>200ng/ml. In semiquantitative assessment there is no significant association between varying clinical stages and histopathological grades and FDP levels. Total serum Protein level showed a marginal increase in all subjects. The study revealed a positive correlation between FDP and TSP in all OSMF subjects.
Conclusion: A larger sample size which would be a better representation of the population and the use of different methods which have higher sensitivities and specificities to evaluate FDP level and detailed fractional analysis of protein along with immunoglobulin profiling would facilitate in attaining more conclusive results.
Keywords: Fibrin; Fibrin split products; Fibrinogen; Fibrinogen degradation products; Oral submucous fibrosis; Total Serum Protein.