Comparative analysis of salivary zinc level in recurrent herpes labialis

Faezeh Khozeimeh, Nasim Jafari, Ahmad Movahedian Attar, Shahram Jafari, Masoud Ataie


Background: Recurrent Herpes Labialis (RHL) is one of most common infective vesiculoulcerative
lesions. according to some studies administration of topical and/or systemic zinc compositions has
been effective in treatment and prevention. This article aims to comparison of zinc level in healthy
subjects and RHL patients in acute and convalescent phases.
Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective case – control study, carried on 80 individuals
(40 normal and 40 RHL patients) mean age=34.5 and 34.4, respectively. Saliva samples were taken
in patients in acute phase once and after healing of lesions in convalescent phase (averagely 21 days
later) and in normal individuals. Salivary zinc level concentration was measured by flame atomic
absorption spectrophotometer by dry digestion method. The results were statistically analyzed
with SPSS software by t-test (α=0.05).
Results: Results showed that salivary zinc level in case group in acute and convalescent phases
were 160.8 ngr/ml and 205.7 ngr/ml respectivly and significant differences between them were existed
(P<0.05). Also significant differences were existed between zinc concentration in healthy subjects
and patient groups (in both phases) (P=.001 and .002 for acute and convalescent phases respectively).
Conclusion: According to the results, zinc level is significantly lower in acute phase than in
convalescent phase and significantly lower in both phases compared to healthy individuals,so
determination of serum zinc level and prescribing zinc complement in low serum status has both
treatmental and preventive effects in RHL patients.
Key Words: Acute phase, convalescent phase, recurrent herpes labialis, zinc level

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