This article presents a quantitative approach for the characterization of normal oral mucosa (NOM) in respect to thickness and textural properties of its entire epithelial layer. Histological images of oral mucosa depict that both thickness and tissue architecture at cellular and tissue level undergo change, as mucosa converts from normal to precancerous or cancerous state. In this study the thickness and fractal dimension of the mucosal epithelium of NOM and oral sub-mucous fibrosis (OSF) condition have been computed using 83 normal and 29 OSF images of oral mucosa. The result shows significant delineation between NOM and OSF in respect of both the epithelial thickness (in microm) and fractal dimensions. This quantitative characterization of oral epithelium will be of immense help for oral onco-pathologists and researchers to assess the biological nature of normal and diseased (OSF) mucosa with higher accuracy. Moreover, further differential applications may enable them to find out newer accurate quantitative diagnostic procedures to that of the usual histopathological gold standard for the assessment of malignant potentiality.
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