Osteoporosis International

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 527–533 | Cite as

Osteonecrosis of the jaw induced by oral administration of bisphosphonates in Asian population: five cases

  • W. Park
  • N.-K. Kim
  • M.-Y. Kim
  • Y.-M. Rhee
  • H. J. Kim
Case Report



Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) can occur irrespective of race. Old age and long-term use of corticosteroid may be a more reliable risk factor than racial characteristics.


BRONJ is an increasingly common problem. Most BRONJ occurs following an intravenous administration of bisphosphonate treatment for malignant bone disease and metastatic cancer. As the incidence of BRONJ caused by oral administration of bisphosphonate is quite low, it is believed that this medication is relatively safe and effective in preventing complications of osteoporosis, such as hip or spine fractures. The many known risk factors for BRONJ can be classified as drug-related, local, demographic, and systemic. One demographic and systemic risk factor is race. Most of the case reports of BRONJ present elderly, white women.


In this report, we describe five cases of BRONJ caused by oral administration of bisphosphonate in Asian population.


All the patients were female and over 65 years old. Three patients had been prescribed with corticosteroids for rheumatoid arthritis.


Irrespective of race, elderly women undergoing steroid therapy have an increased incidence of BRONJ even with oral administration of bisphosphonate.


Asian Jaw Oral administration of bisphosphonate Osteonecrosis Osteoporosis 



This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) with a grant funded by the Korea government (MEST; no. R01-2008-000-21000-0).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Park
    • 1
  • N.-K. Kim
    • 2
  • M.-Y. Kim
    • 3
  • Y.-M. Rhee
    • 4
  • H. J. Kim
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Human Identification Center, College of DentistryYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of DentistryYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of General Dentistry, Dental HospitalYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  4. 4.Department of Endocrinology, College of MedicineYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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