There is evidence that advanced infectious chronic periodontal inflammatory disease may have an impact on general health including cardiovascular diseases. The aim of this clinical study was to evaluate the ability of Porphyromonas gingivalis to colonize heart valves and, subsequently, to assess whether there is an association between the presence of the DNA of Porphyromonas gingivalis in periodontal pockets and in degenerated heart valves.
Materials and Methods
Thirty patients were enrolled in the study and 31 valve specimens harvested during cardiac surgery operations were examined. All patients underwent a periodontal examination. To evaluate the periodontal status of the patients the following clinical parameters were recorded: the pocket depth, bleeding on probing (BOP) and aproximal plaque index (API). The presence of P. gingivalis in heart valve specimens and samples from periodontal pockets was analyzed using a single-step PCR method.
P. gingivalis DNA was detected in periodontal pockets of 15 patients (50%). However, the DNA of this periopathogen was found neither in the aortic nor in the mitral valve specimens.
This study suggests that P. gingivalis may not have an influence on the development of the degeneration of aortic and mitral valves.