Aim: To test whether the incorporation of a chelation powder, etidronate, marketed for root canal irrigation (Dual Rinse HEDP) into a sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) solution induced additional cytotoxic and genotoxic effects not observed with NaOCl alone. Methodology: Fresh and 24-h-old mixtures of 0.9 g of etidronate in 10 mL of 2.5% NaOCl were assessed for their basic chemical features including pH and the ability to chelate Ca2+ from hydroxylapatite. Pure NaOCl and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) with/without etidronate served as control solutions. Cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of diluted solutions (1:10, 1:100, and 1:1000) were assessed on Chinese hamster lung fibroblast (V79) using the MTT, clonogenic and micronucleus assays, respectively. One-way ANOVA and Tukey's HSD test were applied with an alpha-type error of 5% (P < 0.05). Results: In mixtures of NaOCl and etidronate, the free available chlorine was lost completely after 24 h, and the pH dropped by more than 3 units. However, the ability of the etidronate to chelate Ca2+ was maintained. The fresh mixtures of NaOCl and etidronate were not more toxic than NaOCl alone (P > 0.05), whilst the 24-h-old mixtures were less toxic (P < 0.05) and statistically similar to pure etidronate. Etidronate per se showed little cytotoxicity and no genotoxicity at the tested dilutions. Conclusions: The ability of the used etidronate, Dual Rinse HEDP, to chelate calcium is not affected by NaOCl. Cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of mixed solutions is dictated by the presence of free available chlorine therein.
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