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Arch Oral Biol. 1990;35(6):431-4.

Tumour necrosis factor alpha in gingival crevicular fluid as a possible indicator of periodontal disease in humans.

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Department of BioStructure and Function, University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, Farmington 06032.


The suitability of using the cytokine TNF as an indicator of periodontal disease was assessed. Gingival crevicular fluid was collected from 162 sites on filter strips and analysed for TNF by ELISA. About 21% of the sites contained TNF: the amount recovered per site ranged from 0.2 to 998.8 fmol with a median value of 3.7 fmol. The periodontal disease status of each site was documented by recording the gingival and plaque indices, and by measuring pocket depth. About 62% of TNF-containing sites had a gingival index of 1, 76% had a plaque index of 0 or 1, and 47% had pockets of 3 mm or less. When the periodontal status of sites with and without TNF was compared by chi 2 analysis, no significant differences were found. These findings suggest that TNF may be found in sites prior to clinically observable disease and therefore may prove to be a suitable indicator for periodontal disease.

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