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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1996 Oct;20(7):1206-10.

Increased acetaldehyde production by mouthwashings from patients with oral cavity, laryngeal, or pharyngeal cancer.

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1
Research Unit of Alcohol Diseases, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.

Abstract

Excessive ethanol consumption is associated with an increased risk of oral cavity, laryngeal, and pharyngeal cancer. Ethanol has been shown to be oxidized to acetaldehyde by microflora of the upper respiratory tract. As a highly toxic and reactive compound, acetaldehyde of microbial origin has been incriminated as a possible carcinogenic factor behind alcohol-associated malignancies of the upper respiratory tract. The aim of the present in vitro study was to compare the acetaldehyde producing capacity of mouthwashings obtained from patients with oral cavity, laryngeal, or pharyngeal cancer to that of mouthwashings from controls. The ability of mouthwashings to produce acetaldehyde from ethanol in vitro was determined by incubating them in closed vials containing various concentrations of ethanol (0-44 mM) at 37 degrees C for 1 hr. Acetaldehyde formed during the incubation was then analyzed by head space gas chromatography. Acetaldehyde production by mouthwashings increased with raising ethanol concentration in both groups. Acetaldehyde production by mouthwashings from patients with oral cavity, laryngeal, or pharyngeal cancer was significantly (p < 0.01) higher than that of the controls. Increased acetaldehyde formation from ethanol in the upper respiratory tract could thus contribute to the pathogenesis of alcohol-associated oral cavity, laryngeal, and pharyngeal cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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