Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research

Methylene blue as an early diagnostic marker for oral precancer and cancer

Akhtar Riaz, Balasundari Shreedhar, Mala Kamboj* and S Natarajan

Author Affiliations

Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Career Post Graduate Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital, C-1111, Indiranagar, Lucknow, 226016, India

For all author emails, please log on.

SpringerPlus 2013, 2:95  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-95

Published: 9 March 2013


Oral cancer is one of the most common neoplasm’s and is ranked eighth in the cancer incidence worldwide. Early detection is of critical importance because survival rates markedly improve. In vivo staining is a simple, inexpensive, and fairly sensitive method. Involved 120 patients (50 with Premalignant Lesion, 50 with OSCC and 20 controls) stained by Methylene Blue (MB). The results of MB uptake were compared with a simultaneous biopsy of these lesions. Pathologically confirmed precancers and cancers were the positive targets of this screening, while hyperkeratosis without dysplasia and no evidence of malignancy were sorted as negative subjects of screening. The results revealed sensitivity of 91.4%, specificity of 66.6%, positive predictive value 97.7% and negative predictive value 33% leading to diagnostic accuracy of MB stain to 90%. We state that MB staining is useful diagnostic tool in community oral cancer screening programmes for high-risk individuals.

Methylene blue; Oral precancer; Oral cancer; Early marker