World Journal of Dentistry

Register      Login

VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 2 ( July-September, 2010 ) > List of Articles


Analysis of Copper and Zinc Levels in the Mucosal Tissue and Serum of Oral Submucous Fibrosis Patients

Ajay G Nayak, Laxmikanth Chatra, K Prashanth Shenai

Citation Information : Nayak AG, Chatra L, Prashanth Shenai K. Analysis of Copper and Zinc Levels in the Mucosal Tissue and Serum of Oral Submucous Fibrosis Patients. World J Dent 2010; 1 (2):75-78.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1015

Published Online: 01-09-2010

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; The Author(s).


Background and Objectives

Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a well-recognized potentially malignant disease of oral mucosa whose exact pathogenetic mechanisms have not been understood. Measurement of copper and zinc levels in the tissue and serum of these patients may be helpful in understanding the pathogenesis. Therefore, a study was undertaken to analyze the levels of these trace elements in the populations of the coastal region of south Karnataka and north Kerala, India, who show predominant use of areca nut due to their cultural and social backgrounds.


A case-control study was conducted on 20 cases of OSMF and 20 controls. The tissue and serum concentrations of copper and zinc in these 40 subjects were measured by colorimetry.


The mean tissue copper level in OSMF group was 4.31 ± 1.13 μg/gm, while the tissue zinc level was 25.18 ± 4.92 μg/gm. The mean serum copper level in the OSMF group was 1.00 ± 0.20 μg/ml while the mean serum zinc level was 0.92 ± 0.18 μg/ml.

Interpretation and conclusion

The tissue copper levels in OSMF group showed very highly significant difference (p = 0.001) from the controls while the difference in tissue zinc levels was highly significant (p = 0.009). The serum levels of copper (p = 0.35) and zinc (p = 0.08) did not exhibit any statistical difference from those of the control group. These findings indicate that the trace elements, copper and zinc, within the oral mucosa definitely, have a role to play in the pathogenetic mechanisms of OSMF.

PDF Share
  1. Novel management of oral cancer: A paradigm of predictive oncology. Clin Med Res 2004;2(4):233-42.
  2. Serum selenium and other trace elements in various diseases. Clin Res 1978;26:586
  3. Fundamentals of Oral Medicine and Radiology (2nd edition). New Delhi: Jaypee Bros 2001;282-89.
  4. Role of chewing and smoking habits in the etiology of oral submucous fibrosis (OSF): A case-control study. J Oral Pathol Med 1998;27:475-79.
  5. A case-control study of oral submucous fibrosis with special reference to the etiologic role of areca nut. J Oral Pathol Med 1990;19(2):94-98.
  6. Oral submucous fibrosis: a case-control study in Chennai, South India. J Oral Pathol Med 2004;33(5):274-77.
  7. Raised tissue copper levels in oral submucous fibrosis. J Oral Pathol Med 2000;29:241-48.
  8. Copper stimulates human oral fibroblasts in vitro: A role in the pathogenesis of oral submucous fibrosis. J Oral Pathol Med 2001;30:465-70.
  9. Cytological study of copper in oral submucous fibrosis. Indian J Dent Res 2004;15(4):129-32.
  10. Further on the causation of oral submucous fibrosis. Indian J Dent Res 2002;13(2):74-81.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.