Background: Oral Submucous Fibrosis (OSMF) is a potentially malignant disorder with areca nut being the main etiological agent. Increased risk of malignant potential of OSMF necessitates the early diagnosis of the condition. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) scavenges oxygenated free radicals and can be used as a potential biomarker for oral cancer detection.
Objectives: The present study was conducted to estimate and compare salivary SOD levels in patients with OSMF and healthy controls and to compare its levels in different clinical and functional stages of OSMF.
Methodology: The study group (Group 1) included 30 patients of OSMF, and the control group (Group 2) was formed by age and sex-matched healthy individuals. Salivary SOD levels were determined by Nitro Blue Tetrazolium (NBT) chloride method. The levels of salivary SOD were compared between the two groups and the data thus obtained was subjected to statistical analysis using independent sample t-test and one way Analysis of variance (ANOVA) test.
Results: The mean salivary SOD in the study group was 0.583 IU/mL and 0.864 IU/mL in control group and the difference was found to be statistically significant. Thus, the patients with OSMF had significantly lower levels of salivary SOD compared to the controls.
Conclusion: The decrease in the salivary SOD levels in patients with OSMF suggests the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of OSMF and initiation and progression of carcinogenesis. Thus, it can be used as a prognostic marker for early detection of carcinoma in patients with OSMF and thereby, improving the quality of life patients.
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