The tooth as a monitor of cholestatic liver disease in rats

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Measure, noninvasively, the deposition of bilirubin in the tooth by using DIAGNOdent and correlate it to liver dysfunction.

Study Design.

After confirming the capacity of DIAGNOdent to measure varying bile concentrations in plaster blocks, a cholestatic liver disease model was studied to detect increasing bilirubin impregnation in the teeth of rats. Wistar-EPM rats (n = 50) were divided into three groups: (1) BDL: rats submitted to bile duct ligation (BDL); (2) Naïve: rats without procedure; and (3) Sham: rats submitted to laparotomy without BDL (n = 10/period/group). The rats' teeth were monitored with the use of DIAGNOdent before the procedure and at days 10 and 50 following surgery. Serum bilirubin was also monitored.


Tests in vitro showed that DIAGNOdent detected bile in plaster blocks according to its concentration. BDL promoted progressive liver dysfunction, with death occurring approximately 50 days later. DIAGNOdent values obtained on teeth showed correlation with the progression of serum hyperbilirubinemia.


The tooth was found to be a good tissue for noninvasively monitoring the progression of bilirubinemia in cholestatic liver disease in rats by using DIAGNOdent.

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