Salivary and serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in oral lichen planus: a systematic review and meta-analysis study

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Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) has a role in the progression of the oral lichen planus (OLP). The aim of this meta-analysis study was to evaluate the salivary and serum TNF-α levels in patients with OLP.

Study Design.

We searched in the databases of PubMed/Medline, Science direct, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library for studies reported from 1983 to 2016. All studies were checked for evaluation of salivary and serum levels of TNF-α in patients with OLP compared with healthy controls.


Twelve studies were included in the meta-analysis. The mean difference of 7 studies reporting salivary TNF-α levels in patients with OLP versus healthy controls was 25.90 pg/mL (95% confidence interval [CI] 15.31-36.49; P < .00001) and 7 studies reporting serum TNF-α levels was 1.65 pg/mL (95% CI −0.82 to 4.11; P = .19).


In patients with OLP, the higher levels of TNF-α in saliva compared with serum suggest that measurement of this marker in saliva may be more useful than in serum for determining diagnostic and therapeutic aims.

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