Chronic fibrosing osteomyelitis of the jaws: an important cause of recalcitrant facial pain. A clinicopathologic study of 331 cases in 227 patients

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Abstract

Objective.

This was a retrospective and follow-up analysis of 331 cases of chronic fibrosing osteomyelitis of the jaws (CFOJ) in 227 patients.

Study Design.

Demographic, clinical, surgical, and microscopic characteristics were tabulated for all patients. A follow-up mail survey was used to determine the degree of symptom relief experienced after surgery.

Results.

The female to male ratio approached 7:1, and mean age of patients was 53 years. The most common sites were the mandibular posterior region, followed by the maxillary posterior region. Consistent clinical findings included intractable jaw pain mimicking that of odontogenic origin but unresponsive to usual therapies, minimal or undetectable radiographic abnormalities on plain films but dramatic radiolucencies detected on cone beam computed tomography, and large cavities that were either empty or filled with blood mixed with lipid globules encountered at surgery. The most common histomorphologic findings were vital lamellar bone, prominent resting and reversal lines, microshards and splaying of trabeculae, rounded trabeculae, marrow fibrosis, and pools of erythrocytes and lipid globules, often together. Moderate to complete relief of symptoms for periods up to 108 months after surgery were reported by 83% of the 70 patients who returned the survey.

Conclusions.

On the basis of the findings of this study, CFOJ can be considered a unique entity with consistent clinicopathologic features. Its features suggest a pathogenesis based on bone marrow ischemia. CFOJ can be treated on a rational basis with a justifiable expectation of success and probable cure.

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