Lactate Dehydrogenase Levels in the Saliva of Cigarette and E-Cigarette Smokers (Vapers): A Comparative Analysis

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, SEGI University, Jalan Teknologi, Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

2 Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

3 Oral Cancer Research & Coordinating Centre (OCRCC), Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

4 Department of Community Oral Health & Clinical Prevention, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

5 Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, King’s College London, United Kingdom.

6 WHO Collaborating Centre for Oral Cancer, United Kingdom.


Background: We examined the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme levels in the saliva of vapers (e-cigarette users) and compared the data with cigarette smokers and a control group of non-smokers and non-vapers. Methods: Subjects were recruited among those responding to a social media announcement or patients attending the SEGi Oral Health Care Centre between May and December 2019, and among some staff at the centre. Five ml of unstimulated   whole saliva was collected and salivary LDH enzyme activity levels were measured with a LDH colorimetric assay kit. Salivary LDH activity level was determined for each group and compared statistically. Results: Eighty-eight subjects were categorized into three groups (control n=30, smokers n=29, and vapers n=29). The mean ± standard deviation (SD) values for salivary LDH activity levels for vapers, smokers, and control groups were 35.15 ± 24.34 mU/ml, 30.82 ± 20.73 mU/ml, and 21.45 ± 15.30 mU/ml, respectively. The salivary LDH activity levels of smoker and vaper groups were significantly higher than in the control group (p = 0.031; 0.017). There was no significant difference of salivary LDH activity level in vapers when compared with smokers (p= 0.234). Conclusion: Our findings showed higher LDH levels in the saliva of vapers when compared with controls, confirming cytotoxic and harmful effects of e-cigarettes on the oral mucosa. 


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