Clinical parameters available to evaluate early healing phases of bone regeneration procedures are limited. This study explores wound fluid (WF) content for molecular markers to differentiate wound healing responses in the early postoperative period after bone graft placement. Fifteen patients (50 ± 5 years old; 8 men) scheduled to receive tooth extraction and bone graft placement at maxillary nonmolar single-tooth sites were recruited. Primary wound closure was not intended at time of surgery. Gingival crevicular fluid from adjacent teeth or WF from surgical wound edges were collected (30 seconds) at baseline, at 3, 6, and 9 days, and at 1 and 4 months. Multiplex protein assay was used to determine concentration of various wound healing mediators. Immediately after surgery, 87% of surgical sites exhibited open wound. At day 9, mean wound exposure was 4.8 ± 0.4 mm. At 1 month, all wounds were clinically closed. The WF tripled in volume at day 3 and day 6 (P ≤ .05), compared with baseline gingival crevicular fluid, and gradually decreased as wounds closed. The WF concentrations of interleukin (IL)-6, placental growth factor, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1, and soluble cluster determinant 40 ligand were increased during early healing days, generally with peak concentration at day 6 (P ≤ .004). Conversely, WF concentrations of IL-18 and epidermal growth factor were decreased after surgery, generally not reaching baseline values until wound closure (P ≤ .008). In general, WF cytokine expression kinetics were concordant with wound closure dynamics (P ≤ .04). These results suggest that WF molecular markers such as IL-6, and to a lesser extent placental growth factor and IL-18, might help differentiate wound healing responses after bone regeneration procedures.

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