X-ray microanalytical detection of iron in pigmentation of oral mucosa.



A patient was referred to the Charles Clifford Dental Hospital with a grey metallic pigmentation of the hard palate. Conventional histopathological examination was inconclusive, suggesting the presence of either an ephelis (freckle) of pigmentation resulting from a stainless steel upper denture. Material from the pathological specimen was dewaxed and reembedded in Spurr's resin. Examination in the TEM revealed electron dense deposits in the cytoplasm of macrophages. Energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis demonstrated that these inclusions contained iron. The results suggested that the iron was in a form similar to haemosiderin and had arisen from the steel denture.