Osteonecrosis of the mandible induced by intravenous bisphosphonates in oncological patients.

Ana Carvalho, Rui Amaral Mendes, Davide Carvalho, João F C Carvalho


Bisphosphonates are synthetic analogs of inorganic pyrophosphate, which are not only potent inhibitors of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, but also present an important inhibitory activity of angiogenesis. Bisphosphonates become, since 1996, the standard of care in the management of patients with osteoporoses as well as bone metabolism alterations associated with neoplasias. In 2003 the first case-reports of bisphosphonate induced osteonecrosis of the jaws were published. The authors report 2 new cases of patients with osteonecrosis induced by bisphosphonates. Case 1: Seventy one years-old male patient, undergoing standard antineoplastic therapy and bisphosphonates due to multiple myeloma 4 years ago was referred to an oral surgeon because of bone exposure, after dental extraction. Case 2: Seventy years-old female patient undergoing treatment with bisphosphonates for adenocarcinoma of the breast was referred to an appointment of oral surgery due to bony exposure. The increasing incidence of this new entity, its physiopathological mechanisms and the nonexistence of consensual and evidence-based treatments, calls for a special attention on prevention, with special emphasis on a careful clinical examination of the oral cavity previously to the establishment of a therapeutic approach with intravenous bisphosphonates in oncological patients.

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