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Optimum dental radiography in bone marrow transplant patients.

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Department of Dentistry, Princess Margaret Comprehensive Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The purpose of this study was to establish an optimum radiographic examination regimen for patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. Two radiographic examinations were compared: the panoramic radiograph and the full mouth series of radiographs.


A prospective analysis of 65 consecutive patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation was undertaken. All patients were examined through use of both panoramic and full mouth series intraoral radiographs, including bitewings. Significant findings were recorded and compared by means of paired t test analysis for parametric data, such as caries, periapical inflammation and subgingival calculus, and by means of McNemar's test for nonparametric data, such as the presence or absence of severe periodontal disease.


Acquired findings, such as caries, periodontal disease, and clinically significant faulty restorations, were detected more frequently from the full mouth series (P < .05). There was no significant difference in the detection of periapical pathosis. In 8 of 65 patients, clinically significant information, such as evidence of impacted wisdom teeth, neoplasms, and multiple myeloma, was better detected from the panoramic radiographs.


The results suggest a combination of both modalities as the optimum means of radiologic survey in this "high-risk" patient population.

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