Dental maturity assessment in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia after cancer therapy.

Forensic Sci Int 2009 Jan 14;184(1-3):10-4. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Unlabelled: Dental age is largely used in both forensic studies and clinical practice. All over the world, many studies have been made to determine chronological age using dental ages of individuals, but selecting individuals with no chronic or acute sickness as the study group. Cancer is the second most frequent cause of death in children, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of cancer in childhood. Most of the children who survived childhood cancer experienced disturbances in dental development due to cancer therapy or to cancer itself. The aim of this study is to assess dental development in children and teenagers who had suffered from childhood leukemia and were submitted to chemotherapy isolated or associated with radiotherapy, by comparing the dental ages with those corresponding features in a healthy control group. Dental development was analyzed using panoramic radiographs of 92 children divided in two groups: 46 children between 5 and 12 years old, treated for ALL at GRAACC-IOP, UNIFESP, and as a control group, 46 healthy children treated for dental reasons at APCD, São Paulo. The dental age of the subjects was estimated using the system of Demirjian et al. [A. Demirjian, H. Goldstein, J.M. Tanner, A new system of dental age assessment, Hum. Biol. 45(2) (1973) 211-227]. A significant difference was found between the chronological and dental age of patients submitted to antineoplasic therapy for ALL, when compared to those of the control group, but there were no significant differences between patients treated with different protocols for ALL.

Conclusions: although the study was within a small group of patients, we could clearly conclude that antineoplastic therapy can interfere in the dental maturity of patients treated for childhood cancer by interfering in dental formation and root development.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2008.11.009DOI Listing
January 2009

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