A periapical cyst (also known as a radicular cyst) is the most frequent cystic lesion related to teeth (see mandibular lesions).
It results from infection of the tooth, which spreads to the apex and into the adjacent bone. This leads to apical periodontitis, granuloma formation and eventual cyst formation. These cysts are therefore centered on the apex of the tooth, and tend to be small, most less than 1 cm. There is also unsurprisingly usually overt evidence of caries.
These are typically seen in middle to older age (3rd to 6th decades 2).
Plain film / OPG and CT
At radiography, most radicular cysts appear as round or pear-shaped, unilocular, lucent lesions in the periapical region 3.
They are usually less than 1 cm in diameter and are bordered by a thin rim of cortical bone. The associated tooth usually has a deep restoration or large carious lesion.
- 1. Dunfee BL, Sakai O, Pistey R et-al. Radiologic and pathologic characteristics of benign and malignant lesions of the mandible. Radiographics. 26 (6): 1751-68. doi:10.1148/rg.266055189 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Fagelman D, Huang AB. Prospective evaluation of lesions of the mandible and maxilla: findings on multiplanar and three-dimensional CT. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1994;163 (3): 693-8. AJR Am J Roentgenol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Scholl RJ, Kellett HM, Neumann DP et-al. Cysts and cystic lesions of the mandible: clinical and radiologic-histopathologic review. Radiographics. 19 (5): 1107-24. Radiographics (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 4. Pasler FA, Visser H. Pocket Atlas of Dental Radiology. Thieme Medical Pub. (2007) ISBN:1588903354. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
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