Value of computed tomography findings in differentiating between intraosseous malignant tumors and osteomyelitis of the mandible affecting the masticator space

Yasushi Hariya, Kenji Yuasa, Eiji Nakayama, Toshiyuki Kawazu, Kazutoshi Okamura, Shigenobu Kanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. We sought to evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of computed tomography (CT) images in the differentiation between intraosseous malignant tumors and osteomyelitis spreading into the masticator space. Study design. A retrospective evaluation was carried out by using CT images from 12 patients with intraosseous malignant tumors and 9 patients with osteomyelitis involving the masticator space and accompanying mandibular bone destruction. The following CT observations are discussed: (1) bone destruction pattern subdivided into spotty, gross, or permeative; (2) cortical bone expansion; (3) diffuse osteosclerotic changes; (4) periosteal reaction; (5) masticator muscle involvement; (6) enlargement of the facial muscle; and (7) attenuation in the subcutaneous adipose tissue. Results. The pattern of permeative bone destruction, cortical bone expansion, and the enlargement of both the masseter and medial pterygoid muscles were all observed in patients with malignant tumors. In contrast, diffuse sclerotic change and a periosteal reaction were significant observations in patients with osteomyelitis. Conclusion. The efficacy of CT in establishing a differential diagnosis of malignant tumors or osteomyelitis is supported by this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-509
Number of pages7
JournalOral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)

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