Mucoepidermoid carcinoma in the mandible: Findings of panoramic radiography and computed tomography

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Six patients with mucoepidermoid carcinoma in the mandible were studied with both panoramic radiography and computed tomography. Lesion shape and margin were evaluated on panoramic radiography, and bony expansion and cortical plate destruction were evaluated on computed tomography. In addition, a possible correlation among radiographic findings, histologic findings, and prognosis was investigated. Lesions found on panoramic radiography were classified into three types; each type pertained to two of the six patients. The lesion types were as follows: cystic, characterized by a large, cystic radiolucent area; rarefying, characterized by rarefying changes of the trabeculae; and infiltrative, characterized by a central ill-defined area of bony destruction. The results show that computed tomography is useful in the identification of tumor extent, bony expansion, and cortical plate destruction resulting from tumors. None of the patients whose lesions were of the cystic or rarefying type showed evidence of disease after surgery. In contrast, both of the patients whose lesions were of the infiltrative type died of their tumors. Histologic findings of the cystic and rarefying types showed tumors that were well-differentiated or moderately well-differentiated, whereas findings of the infiltrative type showed poorly differentiated tumors. Radiographic findings correlated with histologic findings and prognosis of mucoepidermoid carcinoma in the mandible in this limited series.

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