Sensitive Crystallization Patterns in Oral Cancer

  • Sachin C. Sarode
  • Gargi S. Sarode
  • Prashanth Panta


Pfeiffer, a German scientist in 1938, first developed the crystallization test, which baffled many researchers ever since. Later on, cupric chloride crystallization test was widely used in the literature to investigate its efficacy in detection of various malignancies. Studies on oral cancer also proved its effectiveness for early detection. The crystallization appearance called “transverse form” is regarded as a hallmark pattern in malignancies. It is postulated that increased concentration of polyamines and diamines in blood of cancer patients as well as altered protein structure is responsible for formation of this peculiar, signature pattern. However, in normal healthy patients, the cupric chloride crystallization pattern is characterized by an eccentrically placed center of gravity and radiating crystals without any disturbances. In this chapter, we have reviewed the crystallization test with emphasis on potential mechanisms, crystallization test procedure and methodology, image interpretation, crystal patterns, and all studies conducted on oral cancer. The qualities of reliability, simplicity, cost-effective, and noninvasive nature of crystallization test make it an efficient tool for sensitive detection of oral cancer.


Crystallization test Cupric chloride Oral cancer Early detection Malignancy 


  1. 1.
    Pfeiffer E. Kristalle. Stuttgart: Orient-Occident; 1930.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kleber W, Steinike-Hartung U. EinBetragzurKristallization von Kupfer (II)–Chlorid–Dihydrataus Lo sungen. Zeitschr Kristallogr. 1959;111:213–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Balzer U, Balzer F. Picture-developing methods. Effect of three farming systems (bio-dynamic, bio-organic conventional) on yield and quality of beetroot (Beta vulgaris L. var. esculenta L.) in a seven year crop rotation. Acta Hortic. 1993;339:11–31.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Busscher N, Kahl J, Ploeger A. From needles to pattern in food quality determination. J Sci Food Agric. 2014;94(13):2578–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Busscher N, Kahl J, Doesburg P, Mergardt G, Ploeger A. Evaporation influences on the crystallization of an aqueous dihydratecupric chloride solution with additives. J Colloid Interface Sci. 2010;344(2):556–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Baumgartner S, Doesburg P, Scherr C, Andersen JO. Development of a biocrystallisation assay for examining effects of homeopathic preparations using cress seedlings. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:125945.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chebotareva VD, Maĭdannik VG, Paderno VN. A crystallographic method in the diagnosis of kidney diseases. Vrach Delo. 1990;11:70–4.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Maĭdannik VG, Paderno VN, Pokrasen NM, Martynenko AN. Diagnostic possibilities of a crystallographic method in pyelonephritis in children. Pediatriia. 1990;5:46–51.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Slobodianik GI. The importance of crystallography in the diagnosis of pyelo- and glomerulonephritis in children. Lik Sprava. 2000;2:74–6.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Teodor IL, Chumakov FI, Moroz LA, Mikhaĭlova GE. Role of the crystallographic study in the diagnosis of various diseases of the upper respiratory tract. Vestn Otorinolaringol. 1983;5:55–8.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gulati SP, Sachdeva CP, Adlakha RP. Crystallization test for detection of head and neck cancer. ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 1994;56:283–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gruner OC. Experience with the Pfeffer crystallization method for diagnosis of cancer. Can Med Assoc J. 1940;43:99–106.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kuczlowski J, Zaorski P, Betlejewski A. Crystallization test in patients with head and neck neoplasms. Otolaryngol Pol. 1995;49:121–4.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Aizenberg J. Crystallization in patterns: a bio-inspired approach. Adv Mater. 2004;16:1295–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    De Yoreo JJ, Vekilov PG. Principles of crystal nucleation and growth. Rev Mineral Geochem. 2003;54:57–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sabarth E, Williams HN. Sensitive crystallization process as demonstration of formative forces in the blood. 2nd ed. Spring Valley: Anthroposophic; 1975.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Quadeer A. Crystallization test for detection of malignancy. J Anat Soc India. 1980;29:2.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Shaikh SI, Kawale DN, Diwan CV, Quadeer A, Kharkar AR. Crystallization test for detection of malignancy in the female genital tract. Int J Basic Med Sci. 2012;3:118–24.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sarode SC, Sarode GS, Barpande S, Tupkari JV. Efficacy of crystallization test for screening of oral squamous cell carcinoma with clinico-pathological correlation. Indian J Dent Res. 2013;24:464–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kahl J, Busscher N, Hoffmann W, Mergardt G, Clawin-Raedecker I, Ploeger A. A novel approach for differentiation of milk fractions and polyvinylpyrrolidone with different molecular weight by patterns derived from cupric chloride crystallization with additives. Anal Methods. 2014;6:3173–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sharma A, Ruckenstein E. An analytical nonlinear theory of thin film rupture and its application to wetting films. J Colloid Interface Sci. 1986;113:456–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Burkhardt A. Advanced method in the evaluation of premalignant lesions and carcinomas of the oral mucosa. J Oral Pathol. 1985;14:751–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Savory J, Shipe JR. Serum and urine polyamines in cancer. Ann Clin Lab Sci. 1975;5:110–4.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rawat G, Kureel K, Urs AB. An insight into crystallization test: A neoteric approach for screening premalignant and malignant lesions. J Can Res Ther.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sachin C. Sarode
    • 1
  • Gargi S. Sarode
    • 1
  • Prashanth Panta
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Dr. D. Y. Patil Dental College and HospitalPuneIndia
  2. 2.Department of Oral Medicine and RadiologyMNR Dental College and HospitalSangareddyIndia

Personalised recommendations