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Leukemia. 1997 Jun;11(6):792-6.

Dental abnormalities in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and University of Tennessee, Memphis 38101, USA.


The purpose of this study was to define the therapy-associated dental abnormalities in survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). We reviewed the clinical records and panoramic radiographs of 423 survivors of ALL who were treated on one of four consecutive protocols (1975-1991). Dental abnormalities included root stunting, microdontia, hypodontia, taurodontia (enlarged pulp chambers), and over-retention of primary teeth. The frequency of these factors was determined in relation to age at initiation of treatment (< or = 8 years vs > 8 years), addition of cranial irradiation, and chemotherapeutic protocol. A total of 423 patients met the study criteria. The abnormalities comprised root stunting in 24.4% (n = 103), microdontia in 18.9% (n = 80), hypodontia in 8.5% (n = 36), taurodontia in 5.9% (n = 25), and over-retention of primary dentition in 4.0% (n = 17). Patients who were < or = 8 years old at diagnosis or who received cranial irradiation therapy developed more dental abnormalities than did those > 8 years and those who did not receive cranial irradiation (42 vs 32%). Survivors of childhood ALL often have dental abnormalities that may affect their quality of life. Dental evaluation at diagnosis and frequent follow-up may help to ensure appropriate preventive measures and minimize dental and periodontal disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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