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J Periodontol. 2010 May;81(5):666-72. doi: 10.1902/jop.2010.090570.

Periodontitis and inflammatory markers in transplant recipients.

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  • 1Department of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences, Division of Periodontology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA.



Inflammation is associated with the deterioration of solid-organ transplants. Chronic periodontitis is linked to systemic inflammation, although it is unknown whether it plays a causative or comorbid role. We hypothesized that transplant subjects have a greater prevalence of severe periodontitis, accompanied by higher levels of serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP), compared to systemically healthy subjects.


We recruited 90 renal and cardiac transplant recipients and 72 age-matched controls and compared their periodontal and systemic inflammatory status.


The prevalence of severe periodontitis was not statistically significantly different between transplant and control subjects. Serum IL-6 and CRP were higher in transplant subjects compared to control subjects and in subjects with severe periodontitis compared to subjects without periodontitis, but multivariate analysis showed that severe periodontitis was a significant positive predictor of serum IL-6 in the control group only. In the test group, significant predictors of systemic inflammation were age, diabetes, higher body mass index, and a cadaveric transplant donor.


Despite the presence of higher levels of systemic markers of inflammation in transplant subjects with severe periodontitis compared to transplant subjects without periodontitis, periodontal parameters were not statistical predictors of systemic inflammation in this population in a multivariate model.

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