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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2006, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (1): 13-16.doi: 10.3736/jcim20060104

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparative study on normal tongue manifestation in patients with primary liver cancer and healthy adults

Wei-zhe Deng, Xiao-qiang Yue, Qing Liu, Jing-dong Gao, Rong-zheng Ren, Chang-quan Ling   

  1. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Online:2006-01-20 Published:2006-01-15


To find out some microscopically visible morphological differences in normal tongue manifestation between patients with primary liver cancer and healthy adults, and provide some beneficial evidences for microcosmic syndrome differentiation of tongue inspection.


Microcirculations of the tongue tip, which represented the macroscopical normal tongue manifestation, were observed under an optical microscope in patients with primary liver cancer and healthy adults. Exfoliated cells from tongue coating were examined by hematoxylin-eosin staining. 


The proportion of normal tongue manifestation was larger in healthy adults (38.89%) than that in patients with primary liver cancer (2.32%). The total score of microcirculation of tongue tip and the maturation index of exfoliated cells from tongue coating were both higher in patients with primary liver cancer than those in healthy adults with normal tongue manifestation (P<0.01, P<0.05). 


Normal tongue manifestation, which is macroscopically visible, can be observed in both patients with primary liver cancer and healthy adults, but there exists obvious difference in microcosmic view.

Key words: Normal tongue manifestation, Microcirculation, Exfoliated cells from tongue coating, Liver neoplasms

CLC Number: 

  • R241.25


GroupnTotal numberof papillaeNumber of fungiformpapillaeDiameter of fungiformpapilla (μm)Thickness of fungiformpapilla (μm)
Healthy adult422.06±0.510.94±0.14701.40±119.3860.41±9.90
Primary liver cancer241.87±0.400.71±0.16*620.42±229.89*66.97±25.00
GroupnNumber of vesselsin papillaDiameter of input vessel (μm)Diameter of output vessel (μm)Total score of microcirculation
Healthy adult429.56±1.4510.99±1.6019.72±2.681.70±0.80
Primary liver cancer249.53±2.1511.71±2.0918.74±3.313.00±1.84**

Figure 1

Microcirculation of tongue tip of a healthy adult (×50)"

Figure 2

Microcirculation of tongue tip of a patient with primary liver cancer (×50)"


GroupnUncornified cell (%)Keratinocyte (%)Hyperkeratotic cell (%)Maturation index
Healthy adult420.12±0.070.80±0.080.08±0.060.69±0.18
Primary liver cancer240.31±0.17**0.58±0.16**0.10±0.080.87±0.07*

Figure 3

Exfoliated cells from tongue coating of a healthy adult (hematoxylin-eosin staining, ×40)"

Figure 4

Exfoliated cells from tongue coating of a patient with primary liver cancer (hematoxylin-eosin staining, ×40 )"

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