Pediatric jaw cysts represent a rarely symptomatic clinical entity and are not well addressed in the otolaryngology literature. It is important that otolaryngologists should be familiar with these lesions, which can manifest as jaw swelling or as paranasal sinus abnormalities.
To review the clinical presentation, radiologic features, management, and outcomes of jaw cysts in children treated at a single academic institution.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Retrospective medical record review at a tertiary care children’s hospital among patients 16 years and younger who were seen with a cystic jaw lesion.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Medical records were reviewed for data on symptoms, physical examination findings, imaging, pathology, interventions, and outcomes among children who were seen at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery or the Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center between January 1997 and December 2012 and were diagnosed as having a jaw cyst.
Fifty-seven patients were identified who were diagnosed as having a true cystic jaw lesion and whose complete medical records were available for review. The most common cystic lesions were keratocystic odontogenic tumors (n = 19) and dentigerous cysts (n = 17). Fifty-six percent (32 of 57) of all cystic lesions were asymptomatic on presentation and were identified by imaging. The second most common presentation was local swelling (n = 15), followed by dental irregularities (n = 6). All patients, except for 1 with an eruption cyst, required surgical intervention, including biopsy, enucleation, curettage, or ostectomy, with reconstruction as indicated. Keratocystic odontogenic tumors tended to require more treatment (median, 2 procedures) for metachronous lesions or recurrence.
Conclusions and Relevance
Pediatric jaw cysts are unusual, and data are scarce regarding their presentation and management. Many of these cysts are asymptomatic and are identified incidentally on orthopantomography. Keratocystic odontogenic tumors were the most common lesion seen in our series, followed by dentigerous cysts. Surgical intervention is required in most patients with a cystic lesion of the jaw.