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Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0104-4230On-line version ISSN 1806-9282


SOUZA, Robson Machado de; LEHN, Carlos Neutzling  and  DENARDIN, Odilon Victor Porto. Serum and salivary immunoglobulin A levels in patients with cancer of the mouth and oropharynx. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2003, vol.49, n.1, pp.40-44. ISSN 0104-4230.

OBJECTIVE: Patients carriers of head and neck cancer (HNC) may show changes in concentrations of serum and salivary IgA owing to an inespecific immunologic disorder that follows the development of malignant lesions. PURPOSE: Evaluate the serum and salivary IgA levelS in Patients With Hnc. METHODS: A prospective study based on a sample of 34 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth and oropharynx and 34 normal control cases, matched by sex and age. Blood and saliva samples were collected at the same time and assayed for IgA by nephelometry and single radial immunodiffusion (RID). Statistical analysis included Student t Test, ANOVA and Pearson correlation index. RESULTS: The differences between nephelometry and RID could not be detected (p=0.039). The serum concentrations of IgA were 279.4 ± 131.7 mg/dl and 310.9 ± 194.1 mg/dl for control and study groups, respectively. Concerning salivary IgA, levels obtained by nephelometry were 17.0 ± 10.4 mg/dl for control cases and 7.2 ± 5.0 mg/dl for cancer cases and RID showed concentrations of 13.7 ± 9.1 mg/dl and 5.6 ± 4.2 mg/dl for control and study group, respectively. There were no significant correlations between serum or salivary IgA levels and age or disease stage. CONCLUSION: Patients carriers of HNC and control subjects showed similar serum concentrations of IgA but it was found that salivary IgA levels were reduced in cancer patients. Causes associated with decreased salivary IgA levels like malnutrition, stress and tobacco could be related to these findings.

Keywords : Serum immunoglobulin A; Salivary immunoglobulin A; Head and neck neoplasms; Nephelometry; Single radial immunodiffusion.

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