The Influence of Adalimumab on the Healing of Apical Periodontitis in Ferrets

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Given the increasing use of anti–tumor necrosis factor α (anti-TNFα) biologic medications, and their interferences with the immune-inflammatory response, this study evaluated the effect of adalimumab (anti-TNFα), on healing and healing time of apical periodontitis (AP) in ferrets.


Twelve male ferrets received cone beam computed tomography of the jaws at baseline health (T0); AP confirmation (T1); and 30 (T2), 60 (T3), and 90 (T4) days after root canal treatment (RCT) to monitor healing. All animals had AP induced in the canines; 3 ferrets (12 teeth) provided the positive controls for the histologic evaluation; 9 ferrets were randomly divided into 3 treatment groups with 12 teeth each in the following manner: Systemic: conventional RCT and systemic anti-TNFα; Local: RCT and periapical administration of anti-TNFα before canal obturation; conventional RCT only (control). Two calibrated radiologists assessed the cone beam computed tomography images independently and blindly for AP identification and quantification. Rank-based analysis of covariance was used for statistical analysis of lesion size.


AP was induced in all teeth. Following RCT, all AP lesions in the 3 groups showed a significant reduction in size. Specific pairwise comparisons of the related samples (Friedman's 2-way analysis of variance by ranks within each group) demonstrated a decreasing trend in lesion size with healing time in all 3 groups, most pronounced for local group (local adalimumab). No statistical difference was noticed between groups.


Both systemic and local anti-TNFα did not hinder AP healing in this animal model and a faster healing response may also be anticipated. These findings encourage follow-up studies with larger sample sizes.

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