Background: Lichen planus and leukoplakia may change dysplastically over time and are considered as premalignant lesions. CD44 and E-cadherin markers appear to have high potential in the premalignant evaluation of oral leukoplakia and lichen planus lesions. Therefore, the aim of this research was to compare the expression of CD44 and E-cadherin markers in oral leukoplakia and lichen planus and oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Materials and methods: This analytical-descriptive research was conducted on 60 blocks of lichen planus, leukoplakia, and squamous cell carcinoma. The blocks were stained by CD44 and E-cadherin antibodies. The data obtained from this research were evaluated by SPSS 22.
Results: Only 30% of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) samples expressed CD44 marker, while 40% and 50% of leukoplakia and lichen planus samples expressed CD44 marker. The expression of E- cadherin marker in SCC samples was 40% in the range of staining, while it was 50% and 60%, respectively in leukoplakia and lichen planus. The intensity of staining was estimated to be equally severe in leukoplakia and lichen planus samples, and there was not a significant difference between the staining intensity of CD44 and E-cadherin (p < 0.16). While in SCC, 70% of the cases showed mild to moderate expression intensity, while was statistically significant compared to lichen planus and leukoplakia (p < 0.004).
Conclusion: It seems that the severity of CD44 and E-cadherin incidence can indicate the changes in dysplasia and pre-malignancy of oral lichen planus and leukoplakia associated with oral carcinomas.
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