Stafne cyst

Dr Tim Luijkx and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Stafne cysts, also known as a static bone cavity of the mandible or lingual salivary gland inclusion defect, are cortical defects near the angle of the mandible below the mandibular canal. Strictly speaking, it is not a cyst since it does not contain any fluid. It is usually an incidental finding and represents a depression in the medial aspect of the mandible filled by part of the submandibular gland or adjacent fat. 

Stafne cysts are most frequently seen in middle-aged men. The estimated prevalence ranges around 0.10-0.48% 2.

Stafne cysts are thought to result from remodelling of the bone by adjacent salivary tissue and have been noted to regress following resection of the gland nearby. 

They generally appear in the area between the mandibular first molar and the mandibular angle 6.

Stafne's defect is usually discovered by chance during routine dental radiography. Radiographically, it is a well-circumscribed, monolocular, round, radiolucent defect, 1-3 cm in size, usually between the inferior alveolar nerve and the inferior border of the posterior mandible between the molars and the angle of the jaw.

CT will show a shallow defect through the medial cortex of the mandible with a corticated rim and no soft tissue abnormalities, with the exception of a portion of the submandibular gland

Its main claim to fame is that it should not be confused with other lytic lesions of the jaw.

They are named after Edward C Stafne an American dentist (1894-1981).

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Article information

rID: 2080
System: Head & Neck
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Static bone cavity of the mandible
  • Lingual salivary gland inclusion defect
  • Stafne bone cavity
  • Stafne bone cavities
  • Stafne's cyst
  • Lingual mandibular bone defect

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: Stafne cyst
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    A small lytic les...
    Case 2
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    Case 3
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