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Table of Contents
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-25

Analysis of fingertip patterns in patients with oral leukoplakia: a dermatoglyphic study

1 PhD scholar, Gujarat University, Gujarat, India
2 Oral Pathology Department, Government Dental College & Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
3 Spandan Oral Aesthetic Clinic, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
4 Dr Kureshi’s Dental Clinic & Diagnostic Center, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
5 Department of Pedodontia, Karnavati School of Dentistry, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
6 Department of Endodontics, Siddhpur Dental College & Hospital, Siddhpur Gujarat, India

Date of Submission02-Jan-2021
Date of Acceptance10-Feb-2021
Date of Web Publication29-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ketan Prajapati
Oral Pathology Department, Siddhpur Dental College and Hospital, Sidhhpur, Dist. Patan, Gujarat.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INJO.INJO_7_21

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Introduction: Dermatoglyphics is focused on studying the fine-patterned dermal ridges on volar surfaces of soles, palms, and ridges. It has drawn attention in the field of dentistry. The diagnosis of many diseases that are genetically or nongenetically determined can now be aided by dermatoglyphic analysis, as these patterns have polygenic inheritance. Millions of people consume tobacco, but all of them do not suffer from potentially malignant disorders (PMDs) of the oral cavity. It seems likely that a genetic predisposition could be an underlying mechanism. Aim: The present study aims at determining the relationship between dermatoglyphics and oral leukoplakia (OL). Materials and Methods: Fingertip prints were studied on 30 subjects who were divided into three groups: Group 1 consisted of 10 patients with leukoplakia; Group 2 had 10 patients with habit without lesion; and Group 3 had 10 patients without any habit and any lesion as control. Fingertip prints were taken by the ink method. Results: It was observed that the loops pattern was predominant in patients with OL and in patients with habit but without lesion.

Keywords: Dermatoglyphics, fingertip pattern, oral leukoplakia

How to cite this article:
Prajapati K, Chawda J, Thakkar J, Kureshi A, Patel N, Chaudhary N. Analysis of fingertip patterns in patients with oral leukoplakia: a dermatoglyphic study. Int J Oral Care Res 2021;9:23-5

How to cite this URL:
Prajapati K, Chawda J, Thakkar J, Kureshi A, Patel N, Chaudhary N. Analysis of fingertip patterns in patients with oral leukoplakia: a dermatoglyphic study. Int J Oral Care Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Aug 6];9:23-5. Available from: https://www.ijocr.org/text.asp?2021/9/1/23/312537

  Introduction Top

Dermatoglyphics is an old science and it was established by Galton in the year 1892. It was Cummins and Midlo who coined the term “Dermatoglyphics” in 1926; which is a branch of genetics dealing with the skin ridge system. These patterns of the hand are no longer restricted to palmistry. Through constant effort by eminent researchers, these patterns now play an important role in the diagnosis of several medical and genetic disorders.[1] Dermal ridge patterns are formed embryologically between the 10th and 17th weeks of life; hence, the dermatoglyphic traits may reflect prenatal developmental stability. Most importantly, they remain constant from before birth until death and they are unaffected by any constitutional or environmental disturbances during the remaining gestative period.[2] Carter and Matsunaga have postulated that abnormalities in dermal ridges can only appear when a combination of hereditary and environmental factors exceeds a certain level and leads to changes in the local environment, including an inadequate blood/oxygen supply and alterations in the epithelial growth patterns.[3]

OL is one among the important potentially malignant disorders of the oral mucosa. It has been defined as “a predominant white lesion of the oral mucosa that cannot be characterized as any other definable lesion.”[4] The etiology of OL is considered multifactorial, but smoking is appreciated as being a frequently involved factor. OL is much more common among smokers than among nonsmokers. Alcohol is believed to be an independent risk factor, but definitive data are still lacking.[5]

Epidemiological and experimental evidence indicates a causal relationship between tobacco (smoking and nonsmoking) and OL.[6] Only a fraction of people exposed to these agents develop OL. Genetically determined differences among these individuals would explain their susceptibility.[2] Hence, the present study was conducted to analyze the qualitative variations among tobacco users without any lesion and the ones having OL.

  Materials and Methods Top

The present study comprised total 30 patients, and they were divided into the following groups. The clinically diagnosed cases of OL were included in the study.

Group I: 10 patients with clinically diagnosed oral leukoplakia.

Group II: 10 patients with habit without lesion

Group III: 10 individuals without any habit and lesion as control group

Materials used for obtaining fingerprints

  • - Blue duplicating ink (Camel Ink)

  • - Good quality A4 sheet white paper

  • - Soap, water, and towel

Procedure for obtaining prints

Patients’ hands were cleaned and dried before printing. A thin layer of blue printing ink was applied to the fingers of these patients. Imprints of five fingertips were taken on the middle of an A4 sheet. The same procedure was repeated for other hand. Prints were dried and studied by using a magnifying lens to identify the fingertip pattern. After taking the fingerprints, ink was removed by using oil, soap, and water. Then, the fingerprints were analyzed qualitatively.

  Results Top

In patients with leukoplakia, habitual patients without lesion, and control patients, total 300 fingerprint patterns were assessed. In group 1, 100 fingerprint patterns were assessed. Among them, 57 (57%), 40 (40%), and 3 (3%) were loops, whorls, and arches, respectively. In group 2, 100 fingerprint patterns were assessed. Among them, 66 (66%), 28 (28%), and 6 (6%) were loops, whorls, and arches, respectively. In group 3, 100 fingerprint patterns were assessed. Among them, 34 (34%), 62 (62%), and 4 (4%) were loops, whorls, and arches, respectively [Table 1]. In group 1 and group 2, loops were predominant; in group, 3 whorls were predominant. Thus, in the present study, loops were predominantly seen in group 1 and group 2 compared with group 3 and whorls were predominantly seen in the control group compared with group 1 and group 2. There was no significant difference seen in all three groups related to arches.
Table 1: Fingerprint patterns in all study groups

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  Discussion Top

In 1936, Dr. Harold Cummins proved certain unique, consistent dermatoglyphic changes in several children with trisomy 21 (Down’s syndrome) that were absent among controls. This unique discovery helped to move the budding science of dermatoglyphics from a place of obscurity to being acceptable as a diagnostic tool among medical personnel. Since then, widespread interest in epidermal ridges developed in the medical field since it became apparent that many patients with chromosomal aberrations had unusual ridge formations. The inspection of skin ridges, therefore, seemed a promising, simple, and inexpensive means for determining whether a given patient had a particular chromosomal defect.[7] With an ever-growing population, it becomes important that methods be developed, to identify individuals either at risk for or already having a given illness in the most cost-efficient manner without sacrificing quality of care. The use of dermatoglyphics is rather a unique and extremely useful tool for preliminary investigations into conditions with a suspected genetic base.[8]

In the present study, loops were increased in patients with OL compared with control, which are in agreement with the findings of Lakshanika et al.,[7] David et al.,[2] Singh et al.,[6] Venkatesh et al.,[9] and Awasthy et al.[10] but not in agreement with the findings of Darna et al.[11] and Patil et al.[12] Whorls were increased in the control group as compared with patients with OL, which is similar to observations made by David et al.,[2] Singh et al.,[6] Venkatesh et al.,[9] and Awasthy et al.[10] but not in agreement with the findings of Lakshmana et al.[7] and Patil et al.[12] Loops were also increased in patients with habit without lesion as compared with the control. These findings correlate with the findings of Awasthy et al.[10] and Aditya et al.[13]

Tobacco in any form is a known risk factor for OL. Substantial evidence also suggests that the carcinogenic process is driven by the interaction between exposure to exogenous carcinogens and inherent genetic susceptibility. In response to environmental exposure, genetic damage accumulates more quickly in individuals with genetic susceptibility to DNA damage than in those without such instability but with a similar exposure. Consequently, individuals with genetic instability might be at a greater risk for developing these lesions. It is also suggested that many genes that take part in the control of finger and palmar dermatoglyphic development can also give indication to the development of premalignancy and malignancy. Hence, identifying people at high risk for OL could be of great value to decrease the incidence of the future risk of oral cancer.

  Conclusion Top

In the present study, loops were a predominant pattern in patients with leukoplakia. Thus, it can be said that dermatoglyphics has shown promising results in determining the individuals with genetic susceptibility to develop OL. This may help us to identify individuals with or at risk for developing OL and oral cancer, so that preventive measures can be taken as early as possible to prevent their occurrence.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Jatti D, Devi Y, Kantraj B, Nagaraju R Role of dermatoglyphics in malignant and potentially malignant disorders of the oral cavity: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol2014;26:379-84.  Back to cited text no. 1
Davi MP, Sinha P Dermatoglyphic patterns in subjects with potentially malignant disorders and oral carcinoma. J Adv Clin Res Insights 2015;2:7-11.  Back to cited text no. 2
Lakshmana N, Ravikiran A, Samatha Y, Nayya AS, Vamsi PB, Kartheeki B Role of digital and palmar dermatoglyphics in early detection of oral leukoplakia, oral submucous fibrosis and oral squamous cell carcinoma patients. Adv Hum Biol 2016;6:136-41.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kayalvizhi EB, Lakshman VL, Sitra G, Yoga S, Kanmani R, Megalai N Oral leukoplakia: A review and its update. J Med Radiol Pathol Surg 2016;2:18-22.  Back to cited text no. 4
Parlatescu I, Gheorghe C, Coculescu E, Tovaru S Oral leukoplakia – an update. J Clin Med 2014;9:88-93.  Back to cited text no. 5
Singh K, Singh A, Singh DK Palmar dermatoglyphics in oral leukoplakia and oral squamous cell carcinoma patients. IOSR J Dental Med Sci 2018;17:39-42.  Back to cited text no. 6
Lakshanika, Nalini Aswath . A new innovative technique for analysis of palmar dermatoglyphics in oral leukoplakia patients. Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci 2016;7:1940-48.  Back to cited text no. 7
Prabhu N, Nadeem Baig M, Issrani R, Mathur S Analyzing patterns of finger and palm prints in oral potentially malignant disorders—An exploratory dermatoglyphic study. Int J Sci Res2017;6:585-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
Venkatesh E, Bagewadi A, Keluskar V, Shetti A Palmar dermatoglyphics in oral leukoplakia and oral squamous cell carcinoma patients. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2008;20:94-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
Awasthy D, Maheshwari VJ, Maurya R, Shukla C Variations in dermatoglyphic patterns in oral submucous fibrosis and leukoplakia patients with and without adverse oral habits. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2018;30:271-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
Darna G, Sudhakara Reddy R, Nallakunta R, Rayapureddy S, Navya Teja T, Veera KM Unravelling the myth- dermatoglyphics in oral potentially malignant disorders. Int J Curr Res 2018;10: 65741-6.  Back to cited text no. 11
Patil PB, Reddy JJ, Joshi V, Kumar KR, Shilpa RT, Satyanarayana P Dermatoglyphics in patients with oral potentially malignant diseases and oral cancer. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2017;29:191-4.  Back to cited text no. 12
Aditya A, Gaikwad S, Jangam DK, Vinay V, Joshi S, Gaikwad S Analysis of finger prints pattern in patients with potentially malignant disorders: A cross-sectional study. IOSR J Dental Med Sci 2016;15:121-4.  Back to cited text no. 13


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