Comparison of Repair Index in Cigarette and Waterpipe Smokers: A Bio‑Monitoring Assessment Using Human Exfoliated Buccal Mucosa Cells

Sana Jalili, Noushin Jalayer Naderi


Background: Repair index (RI) using DNA changes reveals the activity of carcinogenesis. Cigarette and waterpipe smoking are important contributors to oral cavity malignancy. The RI in cigarette and waterpipe smokers has not been compared so far. The aim of this study was to compare the RI in cigarette and waterpipe smokers using the human exfoliated buccal mucosa cells. Methods: The exfoliated buccal mucosa cells of 60 cigarette and waterpipe smokers and 20 nonsmokers were evaluated in a case‑control study. The number of micronuclei (MN), broken egg (BE), karyorrhexis (KR), and karyolysis (KL) were counted in 1000 cells from randomly selected fields. The RI = (KL + KR)/(MN + BE) was calculated and compared between subjects and controls. Data were analyzed by one‑way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Tukey’s Honest Significant Difference (HSD), and Spearman’s correlation coefficient test at P < 0.05 probability level. Results: The difference of MN (P < 0.0001), BE (P < 0.0001), KR (P < 0.0001), and KL (P < 0.0001) count was significant between cigarette smokers, waterpipe smokers, and nonsmokers. The RI was significantly different between groups (P = 0.007). The RI was significantly higher in cigarette smokers compared to waterpipe smokers (P = 0.04) and nonsmokers (P = 0.009). Conclusions: The RI was significantly higher in cigarette smokers compared to waterpipe smokers. The finding suggests that due to higher interrupted cellular hemostasis, the risk of carcinoma in waterpipe smokers can be greater than that in cigarette smokers.


Micronucleus assays; mouth mucosa; smoking

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