Patients’ osteometabolic control improves the management of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw

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Abstract

Objectives

Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is a concern in patients taking anti-resorptive drugs. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that preoperative individualized pharmacologic control of the patient's osteometabolic profile could lead to predictable healing of the surgically treated region and minimize the incidence of complications.

Study Design

This prospective study included 95 test patients (53 with osteoporosis and 42 with cancer), and 94 control patients (49 with osteoporosis and 45 with cancer) who were on anti-resorptive therapy and were candidates for ONJ treatment. Test patients underwent osteometabolic profile assessment and personalized pharmacologic supplementation before intervention. In all cases, a drug holiday was scheduled for 3 months before and at least 3 months after the intervention. Healing was assessed clinically and radiographically.

Results

In the test group, after a mean follow-up of 28.2 ± 7.8 months, there was only 1 ONJ recurrence, and it was successfully resolved after the pharmacologic protocol was resumed. Five patients reported minor complications. Overall, 100% treatment success was observed. In the control group, after 28.1 ± 4.9 months follow-up, 6 fistulae, 19 abscesses, and 34 dehiscences occurred. In total, 62.8% of patients in the control group had complications or adverse events. The difference between the 2 groups was highly significant.

Conclusions

Strict osteometabolic control should be a routine measure in the management of patients taking anti-resorptive drugs.

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