Title Comparing the accuracy of detecting pulpal vitality among different diagnostic tests in children.
Clinical Question In children, does pulpal electric test provide better accuracy in detecting pulpal vitality compared with pulpal cold test?
Clinical Bottom Line Although both electrical pulp test (EPT) and thermal test (hot and cold) are effective diagnostic tools, the EPT have demonstrated a higher level of accuracy at distinguishing pulpal vitality.
Best Evidence  
PubMed ID Author / Year Patient Group Study type
(level of evidence)
21702853Hori/201178 primary molar teeth in 36 childrenCross-sectional
Key resultsThe highest accuracy was found for EPT among EPT, heat, and cold test with the accuracy of EPT significantly higher than cold test (p-value <0.05). The sensitivity for the EPT and cold test were 80% and 73.3%, respectively. The specificity for the EPT and cold test were 92.5% and 70.7%, respectively. In the same study the PPV for the cold test and EPT was 0.478 versus 0.80 which represented how accurate a test is at showing the disease when it is truly diseased.
Evidence Search EPT, electrical pulp test, cold test, children, pulpal vitality
Comments on
The Evidence
Validity: The gold standard was direct pulp inspection on carious teeth while intact teeth (non-carious) served as the controls. The study was a cross-sectional study that included only children with carious primary molar teeth. Perspective: The gold standard was direct observation of the pulp before pulp therapy was somewhat arbitrary.
Applicability Although there is a lot of information in assessing pulp status in permanent teeth, there is little information on assessing primary teeth. The comparison among the EPT and cold test will provide general dentist better information in making clinical consideration when evaluating a child in pain.
Specialty (Endodontics) (General Dentistry) (Pediatric Dentistry)
Keywords EPT, cold test, children
ID# 2526
Date of submission 08/08/2013
E-mail nguyena9@livemail.uthscsa.edu
Author Andrew Nguyen
Co-author(s) Benjamin Pass
Co-author(s) e-mail PassB@livemail.uthscsa.edu
Faculty mentor
Faculty mentor e-mail
Basic Science Rationale
(Mechanisms that may account for and/or explain the clinical question, i.e. is the answer to the clinical question consistent with basic biological, physical and/or behavioral science principles, laws and research?)
None available
Comments and Evidence-Based Updates on the CAT
None available