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Clinicopathologic Profile and Surgical Modalities in Mandibular Ameloblastoma: A Descriptive Study.

BACKGROUND: Ameloblastoma is a benign neoplasm composed of epithelial tissue with invasive and infiltrative behavior at the local level and a high recurrence rate, with various histopathologic patterns and clinical forms. Approximately 85% of conventional ameloblastomas occur in the mandible, most often in the body, angle, and ascending ramus area. The treatment modalities include both conservative and radical treatments. Postoperative follow-up is most important in the treatment of ameloblastoma.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To describe the clinicopathologic profile of mandibular ameloblastoma in patients undergoing different surgical modalities. The primary objective was to describe the clinicopathologic profile and surgical management of mandibular ameloblastoma in patients aged ≥18 years, who had reported to a tertiary dental care center for follow-up during the study period. The secondary objective was to describe the distribution of comorbidities associated with different surgical modalities and reconstructive methods.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 34 patients with mandibular ameloblastoma who underwent various surgical modalities between 2011 and 2021 were studied. Information was collected using a predesigned proforma and statistically analyzed.

RESULTS: Thirty-four review cases of ameloblastoma were included in the study. The patients were analyzed concerning age, sex, site, size, clinical presentation, radiographic pattern, histopathologic subtype, type of surgery, and associated comorbidities. Most cases of mandibular ameloblastoma involve the age of 16 to 55 years. The mean age of occurrence was found to be 35.5±13.2. A female preponderance, a tumor size range of 2 to 4 cm, a multicystic variant, involvement of the mandibular body in the premolar-molar area, root resorption, cortical perforation, and a follicular type of histopathologic pattern were the common presentations. Isolated anterior tumors restricted to the incisor/canine region were not found. The common surgical modalities undertaken were conservative methods such as enucleation, and chemical cauterization, and radical methods such as marginal mandibulectomy and segmental resection. Reconstruction using a titanium plate or free fibular graft was performed in the indicated cases. The common comorbidities included difficulty in chewing and loss of facial contour. Recurrence after surgical treatment was rare. Only 9% of cases developed a recurrence within 5 years. No recurrence was noted in cases treated with radical treatment, whereas 50% of cases treated with conservative methods showed recurrence.

CONCLUSION: The age of occurrence, site, and size of the tumor, cortical perforation, root resorption, histopathologic type, and radiographic patterns are widely considered factors in devising a treatment plan for mandibular ameloblastoma. However, there may be rare instances where these tumors behave differently regardless of their innocuous clinicopathologic presentation. Surgical procedures such as segmental resection and marginal mandibulectomy were found to be promising for the eradication of the tumor, and prevention of recurrences and metastasis. However, conservative measures such as enucleation and chemical cauterization were fraught with an increased risk of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Future studies with a larger sample size should focus on the clinicopathologic characteristics of ameloblastoma to elucidate its varied behavior and develop newer and advanced treatment modalities that would provide better surgical and postsurgical outcomes in affected patients.

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