The extent of the role of apoptosis in oral lichen planus – a morphometric study
Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a T-cell mediated chronic inflammatory disease with different clinical types that remains inscrutable in respect of its pathogenetic mechanisms and effective therapy. Increased apoptosis may influence the histopathological criteria of oral lichen planus (decrease in thickness of the epithelium and band of inflammatory infiltrate). Null hypothesis: The apoptotic rate does not correlate with a decrease in the epithelial thickness as well as the thickness of the band of inflammatory infiltrate in OLP. Aim: The present study aims to quantify apoptotic activity and to correlate the apoptotic rate with epithelial thickness as well as thickness of the inflammatory infiltrate of OLP cases diagnosed at Tygerberg Hospital from 2006 – 2015. Further, the epithelial thickness and thickness of the inflammatory infiltrate were also assessed for their association, if any. Materials and Methods: The study sample comprised 17 diagnostically verified cases of OLP. Sections stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) were used to identify and count the number of apoptotic cells as well as measure the thickness of epithelium and the thickness of the lymphocytic inflammatory infiltrate by using software morphometric analysis (Zen Blue lite 2012). Statistical analysis was applied to analyse the correlation between apoptotic cells and histopathological features of OLP. Results: The present study's results showed no statistically significant association between the apoptotic rate, the epithelial thickness and the thickness of the lymphocytic inflammatory infiltrate.