Saliva – a diagnostic medium for early disease detection
Ana Andabak Rogulj Iva Bakale Hodak Marinka Mravak-Stipetić
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Sažetak Like blood, saliva is a complex fluid that contains an abundance of proteins, enzymes, ions and other molecules that reflect physiological status of individual organism. However, unlike other bodily fluids, saliva as a diagnostic medium offers an easy, inexpensive, safe and non-invasive approach to disease detection and opens a new chapter in diagnosis. For the purpose of early diagnosis, which is particularly important for successful treatment, prognosis, prevention of unwanted complications and improvement of quality of life of patients, saliva is analysed for salivary molecular biomarkers that may reveal the existence of the disease at an early stage. So far, more than twenty relevant biomarkers have been investigated for their use in the assessment of periodontal and cardiovascular diseases. The fact that some saliva components are present in lower concentrations in saliva than in serum is often emphasized in order to dispute the diagnostic value of saliva. However, it was the development of new, highly sensitive methods of molecular diagnostics and nanotechnology that enabled analysis of saliva components present in lower concentrations, so that this fact no longer represents a diagnostic limitation.