Background: Infection after a periodontal surgical site has been prepared for guided tissue regeneration (GTR) is one of the common complications that can compromise healing. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of repeated local antimicrobial therapy following GTR for improving clinical attachment gains, and to histologically evaluate the various cell populations and bacterial contamination of the retrieved expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane (ePTFE).
Methods: Forty periodontal intrabony defects in 40 patients were treated by a flap procedure that included the use of ePTFE membranes to allow GTR. Patients were randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups: 20 patients were treated with the ePTFE alone (control group), and the other 20 were treated with the ePTFE combined with the administration of a weekly repeated local application of minocycline ointment for 8 weeks after membrane placement (test group). The membranes were retrieved 6 weeks after the initial surgery and sectioned serially in a coronal-apical plane. The sections were then divided into 9 fields and examined by light microscopy for the presence of inflammatory cells and oral bacteria. Clinical measurements were taken at the time of baseline examination and at a 6-month follow-up examination after removal of the ePTFE.
Results: At the 6-month follow-up examination, control and test groups showed significant improvement; i.e., reduction in the probing depth and increased clinical attachment gain compared with the values at the baseline examination. However, the mean clinical attachment gain of the test group (3.0+/-0.3 mm) was significantly (P = 0.03) greater than that of the control group (2.0+/-0.5 mm). Histologically, the total number of the cells of both groups was similar. In both groups, mononuclear cells were dominant and fibroblasts, neutrophils, and plasma cells were rarely encountered. There was a tendency for the number of macrophages to be somewhat higher in the control group. The total number of bacteria in the test group was significantly less than that in the control group. The number of bacteria in both control and test groups decreased toward the apical portion.
Conclusions: In the present study, clinical attachment gain of intrabony defects following GTR was favorable with repeated local administration of minocycline ointment. However, a complete microbial eradication was not achieved.