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J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2009 May-Jun;33(3):449-54. doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e318186b179.

Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the mandible and maxilla: clinical and imaging features.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.



Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaws is a rare, but morbid, condition. We present the clinical and imaging features of 19 patients.


A review of 19 bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis patients was performed. Patient demographics, diagnosis, dental procedures, symptoms and clinical findings, location and pattern of involvement, and presence of fractures, sequestra, and fistulae were documented.


Patients included 14 women and 5 men aged 48 to 80 years. Diagnoses included breast carcinoma (n = 11), multiple myeloma (n = 4), osteoporosis (n = 4), prostate carcinoma (n = 2), and lymphoma (n = 1). Seventeen patients received intravenous and 2 received oral bisphosphonates for 2 to 5 years. Bone involvement was noted in the mandible (74%), maxilla (16%), and both (10%). A lytic and sclerotic pattern was most common (58%). Additional findings included fractures (n = 5), sequestra (n = 4), and oroantral fistulae (n = 2).


Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis is a rare, but morbid, condition, and imaging features can mimic other conditions. It is important for the radiologist to consider this entity in the appropriate clinical setting.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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