OBJECTIVE: The objective of the present study was to evaluate both immediate and late effects of fractionated cobalt-60 teletherapy over the mean percentage of empty osteocyte lacunae in rats mandibles. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The animals sampling (n = 45) was divided into three groups with 15 specimens each: group 1 - submitted to fractionated teletherapy (60 Gy) and sacrificed following the last irradiation dose; group 2 - the specimens were submitted to the same procedure as group 1, however were sacrificed 30 days after finishing radiotherapy; group 3 - non-irradiated specimens, control group. The radiotherapy protocol consisted of a course of 30 radiotherapy sessions, fractionated in 2 Gy/day-doses, totalling 60 Gy. After specimens perfusion with 4% paraformaldehyde, the left hemimandibles were histologically processed and 5 mm serial sections were hematoxylin-eosin stained. Duplicate calculation of the mean percentage of empty osteocyte lacunae was performed in the areas adjacent to the first and second molar roots with the Image Tool software. RESULTS: The analysis of variance supplemented with the Turkey's multiple comparison test indicated that irradiated groups 1 and 2 showed no difference, presenting higher rates of empty osteocyte lacunae (p = 0.005) in comparison with the control group. CONCLUSION: Fractionated cobalt-60 teletherapy causes an increase in the number of osteoplasts in bone tissues of rats' mandibles.
Radiotherapy; External beam radiation therapy; Late effects; Radiation damage; Osteoradionecrosis; Rats