Original Research

The radiologic progression of ameloblastomas

Lene Merbold, Chané Smit, Jason Ker-Fox, Andre Uys
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 27, No 1 | a2668 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v27i1.2668 | © 2023 Lene Merbold, Chané Smit, Jason Ker-Fox, Andre Uys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 February 2023 | Published: 31 May 2023

About the author(s)

Lene Merbold, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Chané Smit, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Jason Ker-Fox, Private Statistician, Cape Town, South Africa
Andre Uys, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: In developing countries, many diagnosed cases of ameloblastoma (AB) have a significant delay in receiving treatment because of patient factors and healthcare facility constraints.

Objectives: The radiologic progression of ABs with delayed treatment was analysed using panoramic radiographs and cone-beam computed tomography imaging.

Method: Histopathologically confirmed cases of AB with follow-up radiographs indicating no treatment were retrospectively reviewed over a study period of 10 years. Fifty-seven cases with 57 initial and 107 follow-up radiographs were included. Each follow-up radiograph was analysed for changes in borders, locularity, effects on surrounding structures and lesion size.

Results: There was a general increase in poorly-demarcated lesions, with seven cases transforming from an initial unilocular to a multilocular appearance. At follow-up, there was an increase in cortical thinning and cortical destruction. Ameloblastomas presented with a three-fold increase in average size from the initial to follow-up visits. Regression analysis showed a statistically significant relationship between lesion duration and length (p = 0.001). A statistically significant relationship existed between duration and overall lesion dimensions when only the first and last observations per patient were used (p = 0.044).

Conclusion: Considering the aggressive nature and unlimited growth potential, ABs with delayed treatment may show extensive growth, complicating their eventual management.

Contribution: This study aimed to raise awareness of the importance of the timeous management of patients with AB by highlighting the detrimental effects of delayed treatment.


Keywords

ameloblastoma; delayed treatment; neoplasm; maxillofacial radiology; benign odontogenic neoplasm; progression

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Crossref Citations

1. Malignant transformation of primary ameloblastoma of skull: case report and review of current literature
Haitong Xu, Jialiang Tan, Dongxiang Fu
Frontiers in Oncology  vol: 14  year: 2024  
doi: 10.3389/fonc.2024.1365625