Recently, cytology has been applied to the diagnosis of oral lesions. We aimed to explore the diagnostic accuracy of oral cytology based on the histological diagnosis.
Histological diagnoses of 327 cases were classified as Negative, Borderline lesion –, Borderline lesion +, oral intraepithelial neoplasia/carcinoma in situ (OIN/CIS), or Positive. Cytological diagnoses were classified as NILM (negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy), LSIL (low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion), HSIL (high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion), or SCC (squamous cell carcinoma). The cytology slides were evaluated by 10 raters and the results were compared with the histology results.
In 142 cases that were histologically negative, the number of NILM, LSIL, HSIL, and SCC and other malignancy was 77 (54.2%), 47 (34.3%), 8 (5.6%), and 10 (7.0%), respectively. Among 32 cases of Borderline lesion –, the number of NILM, LSIL, HSIL, and SCC and other malignancy was 11 (34.3%), 11 (34.3%), 9 (28.1%), and 1 (3.1%), respectively. Also, in 4 cases of Borderline lesion +, the number of NILM, LSIL, HSIL, and SCC and other malignancy was 2 (50.0%), 0 (0.0%), 0 (0.0%), 2 (50.0%), respectively. Among 12 cases of OIN/CIS, the number of NILM, LSIL, HSIL, and SCC and other malignancy was 1 (8.3%), 2 (16.7%), 4 (33.3%), and 5 cases (41.7%), respectively. Among 137 cases with a histological diagnosis of Positive, the number of NILM, LSIL, HSIL, and SCC and other malignancy was 7 (5.1%), 22 (16.1%), 19 (13.9%), and 89 (65.0%), respectively. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive and negative predictive values were 93.5, 50.6, 62.4, and 89.8%, respectively, when the cytological diagnosis of Negative was assumed to be NILM; they were 77.8, 83.9, 81.0 and 81.1%, respectively, if the cytological diagnosis of Negative was assumed to be NILM and LSIL. The number of false-positive and false-negative diagnosis affected cases with LSIL and HSIL may indicate the difficulty in the cytological diagnosis of borderline lesions. While the negative predictive value was relatively high (89.8%) when cytological Negative was assumed to be NILM only.
Histopathological examination should be recommended in cases with cytological diagnoses of LSIL, HSIL, and SCC.
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