Actinomycosis of the jaws—histopathological study of 45 patients shows significant involvement in bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis and infected osteoradionecrosis
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- Hansen, T., Kunkel, M., Springer, E. et al. Virchows Arch (2007) 451: 1009. doi:10.1007/s00428-007-0516-2
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Actinomycosis of the jaws is a rare disease, which has been recently described in patients with infected osteoradionecrosis (IORN) and bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis (BON). We investigated our archive material for Actinomycosis of the jaws with special regard to underlying disease. Out of a total number of 45 patients with Actinomycosis, 43 (93.5%) suffered from BON (58.7%) or IORN (35.6%), while there were only 3 patients (6.7%) without anti-tumor treatment. In all cases, we found direct association of Actinomyces colonies with bone; in the surrounding medullary space, mixed inflammatory infiltrates with variable amounts of osteoclasts were a typical finding. Pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia occurred in 60.9% of patients. Cell-rich vessel obliteration was seen in less than 25.9% of BON patients, while hyalinized vessel obliteration was obtained in 37.5% of IORN patients. Additionally performed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on paraffin-embedded and ethylene diamine tetracetic acid (EDTA)-decalcified tissue specimens confirmed the presence of Actinomyces israelii in seven of seven cases analyzed. We conclude that Actinomycosis of the jaws is a particular complication in patients with BON and/or IORN. Patients with Actinomycosis of the jaws during or after these forms of anti-cancer therapy are suggested to represent a distinct patient cohort with a relevant impairment of their general condition.