A novel comparison of Epstein-Barr virus with broad histological spectrum of oral squamous cell carcinoma

EBV and histological variants of OSCC

  • Muhammad Wasif Saleem Ziauddin University, Karachi
  • Faraz Ahmed Baig Ziauddin University, Karachi
  • Naila Irum Hadi Islamabad Medical & Dental College
Keywords: Acantholysis, Epstein-Barr virus, Immunohistochemistry, Smoking, Squamous cell carcinoma


Objectives: To evaluate the immunohistochemical expression of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in broad spectrum histological subtypes of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and to determine the relationship of EBV with clinicopathological parameters of OSCC.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 150 clinically diagnosed OSCC cases from the outpatient of Ziauddin University Hospital from March, 2017 to October, 2018. These were confirmed on histological examination and categorized into conventional squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and rare variants. Conventional SCC was subcategorized into keratinizing (KSCC), non-keratinizing (NKSCC), and hybrid SCC (HSCC). EBV status was compared among various histological tumor entities and clinicopathological characteristics of OSCC using immunohistochemistry. Chi-square test was used to determine the association of each histological subtype with EBV status with P-value <0.05 considered as statistically significant.

Results: Conventional tumor was the most frequent squamous cell carcinoma (n=126; 84%). A significant statistical link of EBV infection was observed with rare histological tumors exhibiting acantholysis (P=0.01), as well as tumors involving buccal mucosa (P=0.03), and habitual smokers (P=0.001).

Conclusions: In this study, acantholytic tumor, a rare histological subtype of OSCC, tended to be EBV related. Moreover, OSCC cases bearing EBV infection were more likely smokers favoring buccal mucosa as primary anatomical site for oral cancer.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.5.899

How to cite this:
Saleem MW, Baig FA, Hadi NI. A novel comparison of Epstein-Barr virus with broad histological spectrum of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(5):1192-1198. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.35.5.899

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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