Effect of calcium hydroxide as intracanal medicament on the expression of caspase-9 located within the radicular cyst epithelium

Aust Endod J. 2019 Dec;45(3):352-356. doi: 10.1111/aej.12325. Epub 2019 Jan 10.


Apoptosis (a programmed cell death mechanism) within the radicular cyst epithelium has still not been correlated with any clinical factor. This study aimed to investigate the effect of calcium hydroxide on apoptosis, via the detection of caspase-9. Thirty radicular cysts collected during apicoectomies and stored in paraffin were retrospectively retrieved. Conservative endodontic treatments had been carried out either without (group (a) n = 14), or with calcium hydroxide application (group (b), n = 16) before obturation. All cysts were immunohistochemically stained for caspase-9 to record apoptosis of the epithelium. Statistical analysis followed. The frequency of caspase-9 immunoreactivity in the cystic epithelium in the two groups was 42.86% and 93.75% of cysts respectively. This difference was statistically significant (P = 0.04 < 0.05). In cysts larger than (or equal to) 10 mm, caspase-9 was more frequently expressed. It was found calcium hydroxide appears to enhance the expression of caspase-9, especially in large lesions.

Keywords: apoptosis; calcium hydroxide; caspases; epithelium; radicular cyst.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Hydroxide
  • Caspase 9
  • Humans
  • Radicular Cyst*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Caspase 9
  • Calcium Hydroxide