Background: Cytokines were thought to play an important role for the expansion of odontogenic cysts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cytokine and chemokine levels of radicular and residual cyst fluids.
Methods: Cyst fluids were aspirated from 21 patients (11 radicular and 10 residual cysts) and the levels of interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1alpha), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), and regulated upon activation normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES) were determined by ELISA using commercially available kits.
Results: Both radicular and residual cyst fluids contained IL-1alpha, TNF-alpha, MCP-1, and RANTES, concentrations of which were significantly higher in the radicular cyst fluids than those in the residual cysts (P < 0.001 for IL-1alpha, TNF-alpha, and RANTES; P < 0.01 for MCP-1). Compared to the other mediators, the concentration of IL-1alpha was found to be highest in both of the cyst fluids. In addition, positive correlations were found between IL-1alpha, TNF-alpha, MCP-1, and RANTES in radicular and residual cyst fluids.
Conclusion: If the radicular cyst is inadvertently left behind following tooth extraction, some degree of inflammation may carry on. Residual cysts, although to a lesser extend than radicular cysts, have the potential to expand.