Epithelial Dysplasia at Excision Margins of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Review on Relationship to Clinicopathological Parameters and Prognosis

Document Type : Systematic Review and Meta-analysis


1 Department of Community Dentistry, Faculty of Dental sciences, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

2 Department of Oral Pathology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

3 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Malaysia.


Background: Epithelial dysplasia (ED) at oral cancer excision margins is a frequent finding. Dysplastic epithelium at excision margins may not be similar to dysplasia in Oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMD) as malignant transformation has already taken place. Therefore, management of ED at excision margins should be different to that of OPMD. ED creates a dilemma in relation to further management of cancer patients, since there are no accepted guidelines. Therefore, the objective of this review is to analyze  existing literature and to arrive at evidence based recommendations for the management of ED at excision margins. Methods: A comprehensive string was run on PubMed, Medscape and Medline. The final outcome included 113 studies. Finally, the most relevant 10 articles were critically assessed for inclusion and exclusion criteria against various parameters. Results and Conclusions:  Severe and Moderate ED need re-excision in order to improve prognosis. There is not enough sound evidence for the management of Mild ED at excision margins of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Guidelines for the management of ED at excision margins should be formulated after comprehensive multi center studies using lager cohorts of patients.


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