Cherubism as a Rare Cause of Bilateral Expansion of the Mandible: Radiological Manifestations

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MH Atalar, E Albayrak, P Erdinc, S Bulut

Hong Kong J Radiol 2008;11:76-80

Objective: To describe the radiological findings of the rare osseous disorder cherubism.

Methods: Five patients with cherubism underwent clinical, radiological, and histopathological evaluation. The patients’ sex, age, and physical characteristics were recorded. Bilaterality, location (mandible, maxilla, and orbit), extent of involvement, presence or absence of cortical thinning, degree of expansion, presence or absence of periosteal reaction, and trabeculation measurements were included in the radiological findings.

Results: Three boys and 2 girls were included in the study. The age of the patients ranged from 6 to 20 years. Panoramic radiography and computed tomography were performed for all patients. Additionally, 3-dimensional images were reformatted from the axial computed tomography sections. Two patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Radiological investigation revealed bilateral mandibular involvement with preservation of the mandibular condyles, and progressive expansion of the mandible in all patients. Two patients had involvement of the maxilla and the orbit. All of the involved bones demonstrated expansion and cortical thinning. There was no periosteal reaction.

Conclusions: Cherubism should be considered in the differential diagnosis for young patients who present with bilateral mandibular swelling. Comprehensive clinical, radiological, and histopathological evaluation can facilitate the diagnosis of cherubism.