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Saliva Analysis in the Clinical Setting: Revisiting an Underused Diagnostic Tool
  1. Rafael M. Nagler,
  2. Oded Hershkovich,
  3. Sophie Lischinsky,
  4. Eric Diamond,
  5. Abraham Z. Reznick
  1. 1From the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology (RMN, OH, AZR) Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
  2. 2Department of Clinical Biochemistry (SL, ED), Rambam Medical Center and The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
  1. Address correspondence to: Dr. Rafael M. Nagler, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel. Email: nagler{at}tx.technion.ac.il

Abstract

Background One purpose of this study was to compare various biochemical and immunological parameters in blood and saliva that are routinely evaluated only in the blood for general medical requirements. Another purpose was to concomitantly compare these and other oral/salivary parameters differentially in whole, parotid, and submandibular and sublingual saliva to examine the source of those parameters and their specific concentrations.

Methods Twelve healthy individuals (6 women, 6 men) were examined in the blood-saliva comparison study, and 30 healthy individuals (15 women, 15 men) were studied in the intersalivary comparison study.

Results On the basis of the results we obtained, we suggest a classification scheme using a whole saliva compositional profile as a diagnostic tool in the evaluation of systemic and/or local pathologies. This system may be used to analyze various components of saliva beyond those analyzed in this study, thereby increasing the clinician/s ability to locate and assess specific pathologies. We also suggest that consideration be given to the use of compositional saliva analysis in the diagnosis of general medical conditions in which there is a high correlation between the salivary and blood concentrations of relevant components.

Conclusion We think that saliva analysis is a useful, worthwhile diagnostic tool because saliva collection is noninvasive, easy, and inexpensive and may be performed by the patient with no need for the involvement of medical personnel, if so desired.

Key Words
  • electrolytes
  • enzyme activity
  • immunoglobulins
  • proteins
  • saliva
  • salivary glands

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