Genetic predisposition to external apical root resorption

Riyad A. Al-Qawasmi, James K. Hartsfield, Eric T. Everett, Leah Flury, Lixiang Liu, Tatiana M. Foroud, James V. Macri, W. Eugene Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


External apical root resorption (EARR) can be an undesirable sequela of orthodontic treatment. Previous studies have suggested that EARR has a substantial genetic component. Linkage and association were examined between polymorphisms of the interleukin IL-1 (IL-1A and IL-1B) genes and EARR in 35 white American families. Buccal swab cells were collected for DNA isolation and analysis. The EARR in the maxillary central incisors, the mandibular central incisors, and the mesial and distal roots of the mandibular first molar were analyzed separately and together by using both linkage and association methods of analysis. Highly significant (P = .0003) evidence of linkage disequilibrium of IL-1B polymorphism with the clinical manifestation of EARR was obtained. The analysis indicates that the IL-1B polymorphism accounts for 15% of the total variation of maxillary incisor EARR. Persons homozygous for the IL-1B allele 1 have a 5.6 fold (95% CI 1.9-21.2) increased risk of EARR greater than 2 mm as compared with those who are not homozygous for the IL-1β allele 1. Data indicate that allele 1 at the IL-1B gene, known to decrease the production of IL-1 cytokine in vivo, significantly increases the risk of EARR. These findings are consistent with an interpretation of EARR as a complex condition influenced by many factors, with the IL-1B gene contributing an important predisposition to this common problem. Defining genetic contributions to EARR is an important factor in understanding the contribution of environmental factors, such as habits and therapeutic biomechanics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-252
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics


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