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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-93

Role of conjunctival imprint cytology in detecting vitamin A deficiency in cancer patients: A case-control study

1 Department of Pathology , Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Prayaga Aruna Kumari
Department of Pathology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Punjagutta, Hyderabad 500 082, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: Department of Medical Oncology, Nizamís Institute of Medical Sciences., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-019X.131960

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Context: Conjunctival Imprint cytology is widely used to detect vitamin A deficiency in field studies. Vitamin A deficiency is known to be associated with malignancies. Aims: To assess the vitamin-A status in cancer patients using conjunctival impression cytology technique (CICT) and to correlate the results with serum levels of the vitamin. Settings and Design: To study CICT in freshly detected cancer patients. To compare with normal controls, and to correlate the results obtained by the cytology technique with a serum retinol by HPLC method. Materials and Methods: Patients and their family members accompanying the patients were taken as subjects for the study and after an informed consent. Conjunctival imprint cytology samples and venous blood for serum retinol were collected from both groups. Statistical Analysis Used: Odds ratio, Pearson Chi-square test, Fisher exact test, analysis of variable, independent and dependent sample t test, mean and standard deviation. Data: Of 1551 subjects analyzed, vitamin A level < 20 mcg/dl was observed in 395 subjects; 322 (81.5%) were patients and 73 (19.5%) were controls (P < 0.001). CICT grades ≥ 2 was found in 357 subjects including 285 (79.8%) patients and 72 (20.2%) controls (P < 0.001). CICT had sensitivity 93.0%, specificity of 95.6%, positive predictive value 86.1%, negative predictive value 92.9%, Cohen's kappa value 0.74, and P < 0.001. Conclusions: CICT is a reliable technique to detect vitamin A deficiency in cancer patients.

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