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To investigate whether formocresol, in Buckley's original formulation, used for pulp therapy of deciduous teeth, can have a genotoxic effect. Genotoxicity was tested in lymphocyte cultures from the peripheral blood of children aged 5-10y, in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. This was a case-control study. The sample comprised 40 children who had primary teeth with non-vital pulps. Two venous blood samples (6-8ml) were collected from each child, the first prior to pulp therapy (control group) and the second 24h after pulp therapy (experimental group). Lymphocyte cultures were grown in 78% RPMI 1640 medium, 20% fetal bovine serum, 2% phytohemagglutinin. The lymphocytes were assessed for chromosomal aberrations; each sample involved analysis of 100 metaphases. There was a statistically significant difference between the control and treated groups for the isochromatid gap (p<0.001), chromatid break (p<0.009), isochromatid break (p<0.046), other chromosomal alterations (p<0.001), and for total aberrations. In view of these results, caution in the use of formocresol in pediatric dentistry is recommended. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Ana Catarina Gaioso Lucas Leite, Aronita Rosenblatt, Merilane da Silva Calixto, Cirlene Maria da Silva, Neide Santos. Genotoxic effect of formocresol pulp therapy of deciduous teeth. Mutation research. 2012 Aug 30;747(1):93-7

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PMID: 22579796

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