Gingival crevicular fluid predicts periodontal attachment loss

By Sarah Guy, medwireNews Reporter

Analysis of gingival crevicular fluid using mass spectrometry could be used to predict sites of periodontal attachment loss in individuals undergoing maintenance therapy for periodontitis, report researchers.

Prediction models developed using over 300 mass spectra from patient fluid samples gave a high specificity for predicting attachment loss, with 97% recognition capability (RC) and 67% cross-validation (CV), they report in the Journal of Periodontal Research.

"The high RC reflects the ability of the model to correctly diagnose disease sites and compares favourably with previous studies that have used other methods to diagnose periodontal disease progression," remark Eric Reynolds (The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) and co-workers.

The team explains that periodontal disease progression in maintenance patients, such as those who participated in the current study, generally occurs on a site basis. Therefore "it makes sense that locally produced products may be of diagnostic value."

A total of 44 patients' data were analyzed for the study, including gingival crevicular fluid measurements that were taken at baseline and again every 3 months for a 12-month period. In all, 385 fluid samples were obtained for analysis using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

Twenty-five sites from the mouths of 14 patients showed attachment loss of at least 1.2 mm (the minimum required for the clinical definition of attachment loss) during the year-long follow up, note Reynolds et al.

After exclusion of uncalibrated gingival crevicular samples, 34 control samples and 33 disease samples were included in the analysis of mass spectra, which gave an overall RC of 87.9% when comparing the two groups. Individually, the control and disease samples had RCs of 97.0% and 78.8%, with the higher result for control samples suggesting a "high variability of crevicular fluid contents from a nonprogressing site," remark Reynolds and colleagues.

The authors also found an association between smoking and attachment loss such that 60% of smokers lost attachment compared with 34% of the total population.

"The analysis of gingival crevicular fluid samples, as undertaken in this study, has the potential for automation and high throughput, and may make large-scale screening for oral diseases economically feasible," concludes the research team.

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