Human and Feline Invasive Cervical Resorptions: The Missing Link?—Presentation of Four Cases

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This report describes 4 patients presenting with multiple teeth affected by invasive cervical resorption (ICR). The cases came to our attention between 2006 and 2008; previously, no cases of multiple ICR (mICR) had been reported in Switzerland. Characteristics common to all 4 cases included progression of disease over time, similar clinical and radiographic appearance of lesions, and obscure etiology. The histologically assessed teeth showed a similar pattern of tooth destruction, with resorptive lesions being confined to the cervical region. Howship's lacunae and multinucleated, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive odontoclasts were detected. None of the teeth presented with internal resorption. The positive pulp sensitivity corresponded to the histologic findings, indicating that the pulp tissue resisted degradation even in advanced stages of resorptive lesions. Although mICR is rare in humans, a similar disease known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORL) is common in domestic, captive, and wild cats. The etiology of FORL, like that of mICR, remains largely unknown. Because FORL has been associated with feline viruses, we asked our mICR patients whether they had had contact with cats, and interestingly, all patients reported having had direct (2 cases) or indirect (2 cases) contact. In addition, blood samples were taken from all patients for neutralization testing of feline herpes virus type 1 (FeHV-1). Indeed, the sera obtained were able to neutralize (2 cases) or partly inhibit (2 cases) replication of FeHV-1, indicating transmission of feline viruses to humans. Future studies on mICR (and FORL) should evaluate the possible role of a (feline) virus as an etiologic (co-)factor in this disease.

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