The purpose of this study was to assess the acute nephrotoxicity of formaldehyde, as it is believed to be the toxic
component of formocresol.
A sample of 24 Sprague-Dawley rats was used in the study and divided into 3 groups of 8 rats
each. The following procedures were performed: group A) formaldehyde equivalent dose to 20 pulpotomies, injected into the main vein
of each rat's tail; group B) formaldehyde equivalent dose to 100 pulpotomies injected; group C) control group with a saline solution
injected. Blood analyses were performed after 24 and 48 hours to assess urea and creatinine levels. Urine samples were taken after 24
hours to analyse for LDH protein levels. Rats were sacrificed after 48 hours and histology samples of renal tissue were studied for any
Evaluation of histological samples of kidney tissue did not show any inflammation or other tissue
lesions. No significant differences were found, using an ANOVA test procedure, among the variables of LDH protein or creatinine levels
after 24 and 48 hours. Significant differences were found between the levels of urea and creatinine after 48 hours between the control
group and the other test groups.
The use of formaldehyde at the usual clinical doses or with an amount equivalent to
100 pulpotomies did not produce renal tissue damage and the blood and urine factors analysed did not show significant changes after
48 hours in the experimental model used.
Vol.4 – n.1/2003
Harvard: J. R. Boj, I. Marco, O. Corts, C. Canalda (2003) "The acute nephrotoxicity of systemically administered formaldehyde in rats", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 4(1), pp16-20. doi:
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