PURPOSE: To investigate the facial symmetry of rats submitted to experimental mandibular condyle fracture and with protein undernutrition (8% of protein) by means of cephalometric measurements. METHODS: Forty-five adult Wistar rats were distributed in three groups: fracture group, submitted to condylar fracture with no changes in diet; undernourished fracture group, submitted to hypoproteic diet and condylar fracture; undernourished group, kept until the end of experiment, without condylar fracture. Displaced fractures of the right condyle were induced under general anesthesia. The specimens were submitted to axial radiographic incidence, and cephalometric mensurations were made using a computer system. The values obtained were subjected to statistical analyses among the groups and between the sides in each group. RESULTS: There was significative decrease of the values of serum proteins and albumin in the undernourished fracture group. There was deviation of the median line of the mandible relative to the median line of the maxilla, significative to undernutrition fracture group, as well as asymmetry of the maxilla and mandible, in special in the final period of experiment. CONCLUSION: The mandibular condyle fracture in rats with proteic undernutrition induced an asymmetry of the mandible, also leading to consequences in the maxilla.
Mandibular Condyle; Facial Asymmetry; Protein-Energy Malnutrition; Rats