Evaluation of a surgical treatment of denosumab-related osteonecrosis of the jaws

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Denosumab, a monoclonal antibody, is a relatively new antiresorptive agent that has recently shown a serious adverse effect: denosumab-related osteonecrosis of the jaws (DRONJ). The purpose of this study was to retrospectively observe the efficacy of the combined surgical and antimicrobial treatment of DRONJ.

Study Design.

In this case series, all patients with osteonecrosis that occurred after starting treatment with denosumab, were treated with surgery and antimicrobial treatment and followed up. The primary outcome was healing of the jaw. For patient characterization, secondary variables, such as clinical features, denosumab use, dental history (including luxation), and duration of complaints, were studied.


Eleven patients met the criteria to be included in this study. Nine patients experienced healing within 4 weeks after surgery. Two patients were not cured and died as a result of their underlying disease. In all patients, a dental focus was found. Six patients had been treated only with denosumab, and five had also been treated with bisphosphonates.


We were able to achieve healing in 9 of the 11 patients with DRONJ. Our treatment protocol showed promising results; however, further research is needed.

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