Statins in nonsurgical and surgical periodontal therapy. A systematic review and meta-analysis of preclinical in vivo trials

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The cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins, possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and pro-osteogenic properties, and thus have been tested as an adjunct to periodontal treatment. The present systematic review aimed to answer the following focused research question: What is the effect of local and/or systemic statin use on periodontal tissues in preclinical in vivo studies of experimentally induced periodontitis (EIP) and/or acute/chronified periodontal defect (ACP) models? A literature search (of Medline/PubMed, Embase/Ovid, CENTRAL/Ovid) using the following main eligibility criteria was performed: (i) English or German language; (ii) controlled preclinical in vivo trials; (iii) local and/or systemic statin use in EIP and/or ACP models; and (iv) quantitative evaluation of periodontal tissues (i.e., alveolar bone level/amount, attachment level, cementum formation, periodontal ligament formation). Sixteen studies in EIP models and 7 studies in ACP models evaluated simvastatin, atorvastatin or rosuvastatin. Thirteen of the EIP (81%) and 2 of the ACP (29%) studies presented significantly better results in terms of alveolar bone level/amount in favor of statins. Meta-analysis based on 14 EIP trials confirmed a significant benefit of local and systemic statin use (P < .001) in terms of alveolar bone level/amount; meta-regression revealed that statin type exhibited a significant effect (P = .014) in favor of atorvastatin. Three studies reported a significantly higher periodontal attachment level in favor of statin use (P < .001). Complete periodontal regeneration was never observed; furthermore, statins did not exert any apparent effect on cementum formation. Neither local nor systemic use of statins resulted in severe adverse effects. Statin use in periodontal indications has a positive effect on periodontal tissue parameters, supporting the positive results already observed in clinical trials. Nevertheless, not all statins available have been tested so far, and further research is needed to identify the maximum effective concentration/dose and optimal carrier.

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