Background - Leukoplakia is the most common pre-cancerous lesion in the oral cavity. Present study aimed to evaluate plasma lycopene levels in patients with clinically/ histopathologically proven leukoplakia with that of control group (smokers/non-smokers) Materials and Methods- Total of 180 individuals were included in the study with two main groups namely cases and controls: clinically/ histopathologically proven cases of oral leukoplakia (60) and age and sex matched control group divided into two categories non-smokers (60) and smokers without leukoplakia (60). Determination of lycopene in blood plasma by high performance liquid chromatography. Results- The age of the patients varied between 31-70 years. Mean plasma lycopene levels for the leukoplakia patients (smokers) was 32.86±21.42 ng/ml, and for controls who were smokers it was 42.70±26.54 ng/ml, however the mean levels for non-smokers was 146.6±52.45 ng/ml which was significantly more. Conclusion- Thus lycopene appears to be a very promising antioxidant as a treatment modality in oral leukoplakia. Results indicate that lycopene can protect cells against cell damage and play a protective role against progression of dysplasia.
Keywords- Antioxidants, Leukoplakia, Plasma Lycopene.