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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery
Minerva Stomatologica 2004 May;53(5):263-72
language: English, Italian
An objective method of assessing facial swelling in patients with dental abscesses treated with clarithromycin
Montebugnoli L., Servidio D., Miaton R. A., Cuppini A., Baffioni R., Peronace V., Sanasi V., Cozzi M.
Aim. The study evaluates the efficacy of a set of objective parameters for monitoring facial swelling in a group of patients treated with clarithromycin.
Methods. Fifty consecutive patients suffering from dental abscesses (22 in the maxillary arch and 28 in the mandibular arch) were enrolled. All these patients underwent antibiotic treatment with clarithromycin in a new formulation as a single daily dose (500 mg/day for 6 days). Pain and changes in facial swelling were evaluated at baseline and each day for 6 days through subjective parameters (visual analogic scale, VAS) and objective parameters (6 different tape measurements on the skin surface above the abscess).
Results. Pain and swelling recorded by patient and dentist (using VAS scores) showed statistically significant decreases (p<0.01) on days 2, 3 and 4, while no further significant variation was observed during days 4, 5 or 6. As regards the objective parameters to quantify facial swelling, the maximum dimensional change (from baseline to final values) in the mandibular arch was obtained with measurement 6 (mean value 2.27±0.53 cm); the maximum dimensional change in the maxillary arch was obtained with the sum of the other 5 measurements (mean value 6.34±4.09 cm).
Conclusion. The use of a single or a combination of linear measurements might provide a sensitive and reproducible method to evaluate facial swelling objectively and could be very useful in monitoring the efficacy of new antibiotics and to compare the results from different studies.