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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Jun;69(6):e31-7. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2010.07.044. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

Symptoms before periapical surgery related to histologic diagnosis and postoperative healing at 12 months for 178 periapical lesions.

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Department of Oral Surgery, Valencia University Medical and Dental School, Valencia, Spain.



To compare the preoperative signs and symptoms with the histologic diagnosis and postoperative healing at 12 months for 178 periapical lesions.


A total of 152 patients who had undergone periapical surgery from 2005 to 2008 were studied. The study included patients presenting with signs and symptoms before periapical surgery with a sufficient tissue sample (periapical lesion) for histologic analysis and a minimal follow-up of 12 months. The signs and symptoms present in the soft tissues at the initial examination were recorded. The histologic analysis established the diagnosis as granuloma, cyst, or scar tissue. The postoperative healing at 12 months was evaluated according to the criteria of von Arx and Kurt.


Of the 152 patients, 147, with 178 periapical lesions, were included in the present study. No significant relationship was found between the preoperative signs and symptoms, lesion type, and evolution. However, scar tissues were asymptomatic in 78.1%, and 36.4% of granulomas were painful. Of the 8 cysts, 50% were asymptomatic and 50% caused pain. Fibrous scars created no soft tissue alterations in 68.7%. Granulomas had fistulized in 31.7%, and 75% of cysts had produced no alterations. The lesions with swelling had worse healing, and those with no soft tissue alterations had better postoperative healing.


Chronic periapical lesions (granuloma, cyst, and scar tissue) are usually asymptomatic and do not create soft tissue alterations. However, they can deteriorate, producing pain and fistulization. Worse postoperative healing was observed for lesions with swelling, although the difference was not significant.

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