Clinical Research| Volume 38, ISSUE 6, P729-732, June 2012

Frequency and Distribution of Radiolucent Jaw Lesions: A Retrospective Analysis of 9,723 Cases

Published:April 16, 2012DOI:



      Practitioners should be aware of the occurrence rate and usual location of radiolucent jaw lesions. The aims of this study were to examine the frequency and location of radiolucent jaw lesions, including apical granulomas, apical cysts, keratocystic odontogenic tumors (KOTs), central giant cell lesions (CGCLs), ameloblastomas, and metastatic lesions, that were submitted for biopsy along with associated demographics.


      Biopsy diagnoses from 9,723 lesions (submitted between 1992 and 2006) were included in this study. Data on lesion location as well as patient demographics were evaluated.


      Thirty types of radiolucent jaw lesions were classified. Nonhealing apical granulomas (40.4%) and cysts (33.1%) occurred at similar rates and together totaled 73% of all biopsied lesions. The majority of reported granulomas and cysts occurred in the anterior maxilla (>36% in each category). The frequency of KOTs (8.8%), CGCLs (1.3%), ameloblastomas (1.2%), and metastatic lesions (<1%) are to be noted along with their location, which was predominately in the posterior mandible. The occurrence of apical cysts, ameloblastomas, KOTs, and metastatic lesions were seen slightly more in men, at 56%, 54%, 55%, and 68%, respectively. The occurrence of CGCLs was seen slightly more in women at 56%, whereas apical granulomas were equally present in men and women.


      Most nonhealing lesions submitted for biopsy were classified as granulomas or cysts (73%) often from the anterior maxillary jaw. Nonhealing radiolucent jaw lesions other than granulomas or cysts were reported over 20% of the time and may have more severe pathological implications, suggesting the value of differential diagnoses.

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