• bisphosphonates;
  • clodronate;
  • osteonecrosis;
  • zoledronic acid

J Oral Pathol Med (2012) 41: 702–712

Background:  The aim of this study was to compare clodronate and zoledronic acid regarding their influence on the repair of surgical wounds in maxillae (soft tissue wound and tooth extraction) and their relation to osteonecrosis.

Material and methods:  Thirty-four Wistar rats were allocated into three groups according to the treatment received: (i) 12 animals treated with zoledronic acid, (ii) 12 animals treated with clodronate and (iii) 10 animals that were given saline solution. All animals were subjected to tooth extractions and surgically induced soft tissue injury. Histological analysis of the wound sites was performed by means of hematoxylin–eosin (H&E) staining and immunohistochemical staining for receptor activator of nuclear factor-kB ligand (RANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG), von Willebrand factor, and caspase-3.

Results:  The zoledronic acid group showed higher incidence of non-vital bone than did the clodronate group at the tooth extraction site. At the soft tissue wound site, there were no significant differences in non-vital bone between the test groups. RANKL, OPG, von Willebrand factor, and caspase-3 did not show significant differences between the groups for both sites of surgical procedures.

Conclusion:  Both of the bisphosphonates zoledronic acid and clodronate are capable of inducing maxillary osteonecrosis. Immunohistochemical analysis suggests that the involvement of soft tissues as the initiator of osteonecrosis development is less probable than has been pointed out.