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An Official Publication of the Indian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists

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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 408-413

A rare osteolytic lesion in the mandible: A diagnostic dilemma

Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology and Forensic Odontology, S.G.T. Dental College, Hospital and Research Institute, Gurugram, Haryana, India

Date of Submission28-Oct-2021
Date of Decision23-Feb-2022
Date of Acceptance22-Mar-2022
Date of Web Publication17-Oct-2022

Correspondence Address:
Manpreet Arora
Department of Oral Pathology & Microbiology and Forensic Odontology, S.G.T. Dental College, Hospital & Research Institute, Gurugram, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jomfp.jomfp_385_21

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Odontogenic myxofibroma is a benign tumour that is rarely encountered in any bone other than jaws. It accounts for only 3–11% of all odontogenic tumours. The pathogenesis of these tumours is still controversial and may arise from myxomatous degeneration or fibrous stroma or from the mesenchymal portion of the tooth germ. Clinically, they are slow-growing and can cause gradual expansion of the cortical plates, loosening, displacement of teeth, and rarely root resorption. Biologically, the tumour is locally aggressive with a high recurrence rate, which warrants extensive surgical treatment. Here, we present a case of central odontogenic myxofibroma in a 45-year-old female resulting in the extensive involvement of the mandible within a month.

Keywords: Fibroma, fibromyxoma, mixed tumour, myxofibroma, myxoma, odontogenic tumour

How to cite this article:
Singh P, Arora M, Dave A, Rai R. A rare osteolytic lesion in the mandible: A diagnostic dilemma. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2022;26:408-13

How to cite this URL:
Singh P, Arora M, Dave A, Rai R. A rare osteolytic lesion in the mandible: A diagnostic dilemma. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Mar 24];26:408-13. Available from: https://www.jomfp.in/text.asp?2022/26/3/408/358743

   Introduction Top

Odontogenic myxofibroma (MF) is a seldom benign and locally aggressive neoplasm, which was first described by Virchow in 1863. It is considered as the variant of odontogenic myxoma.[1] Odontogenic myxoma belongs to a rare group of odontogenic neoplasms involving the jawbones. They originate from the embryonic mesenchymal tissue. The debate on the pathogenesis of these tumours continues to entice pathologists until today. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005 classified odontogenic myxoma as tumours of ectomesenchymal origin with or without the odontogenic epithelium.[2] However, later in 2017, WHO classified odontogenic myxoma under the category of mesenchymal odontogenic tumours as central and peripheral variants. The peripheral variants are comparatively less aggressive and encapsulated. Contrarily, central odontogenic myxomas are generally non-encapsulated tumours with infiltrative capacity into the adjacent medullary bone.[3] Histologically, myxofibroma exhibits delicate fibrous to loose mucoid stroma; this is because of the presence of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells showing fibroblastic differentiation in the myxomatous background.[2] Here, we are presenting a rare case of odontogenic myxofibroma involving the posterior mandibular region in a middle-aged female without any alarming symptoms.

   Case Report Top

A 45-year-old female reported to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with a chief complaint of pain and swelling over the right angle of the mandible for 10 days. The pain was initially dull and intermittent, but for the past 3 days, it was sharpshooting and interfering with the mastication. The swelling was reported to be insidious in onset and progressively increased in size. The patient gave a history of extraction of 43, 46, 47, and 48 four years ago. Her past medical history was non-contributory.

On extra-oral examination, ovoid swelling was present on the lower posterior right side of the face, measuring approximately 3 cm × 2 cm, and the overlying skin appeared normal with no pus discharge. On palpation, it was tender, afebrile, and firm to hard in consistency with an expansion of the buccal cortical plate. A tingling sensation was present on the lower half of the right side of the lips, which was not crossing the mid-line. Right sub-mandibular lymph nodes were tender on palpation. They were soft to firm in consistency on palpation.

On intra-oral examination, a well-defined swelling measuring 2 × 1 cm was palpated along with the buccal cortical plate in the mandibular posterior region with slight lingual expansion. It was extending from the right lower first premolar region to the retromolar pad of the mandible [Figure 1]. The swelling was tender and firm to hard in consistency with the overlying mucosa pink in colour. There was no pus discharge and no bleeding.
Figure 1: Intra-oral image of the patient showing swelling in the right mandibular buccal vestibule

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On radiographic examination, OPG (orthopantomogram) revealed multi-locular radiolucency with a soap bubble appearance involving the right side of the mandible, extending from the apex of the right lateral incisor to the right sigmoid notch [Figure 2]. There was an additional finding in the OPG, which revealed root-canal-treated 44 and 45 and one impacted 13. 43 was missing. Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) revealed a well-defined osteolytic lesion, which showed multi-locular homogeneously hypodense radiolucency with a radio-opaque sclerotic margin in the right mandibular arch involving 44 and 45. The radiolucency was extending from the right para-symphyseal region until the sigmoid notch involving the body, angle, and ramus of the mandible [Figure 3],[Figure 4],[Figure 5],[Figure 6],[Figure 7]. In the coronal view, buccal cortical plate expansion was seen on the right side of the mandible [Figure 4]. Correlating clinically and radiographically, a provisional diagnosis of ameloblastoma was made. Blood investigations were found to be within normal limits.
Figure 2: OPG reveals large multi-locular lesions with fine trabeculations in the right mandibular region, extending from the para-symphyseal region to the posterior sigmoid

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Figure 3: CBCT in the axial plane: A large multi-locular, hypodense region extending from the condylar process to the mandibular right first premolar

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Figure 4: CBCT in the coronal plane: A large multi-locular hypodense region can be seen in the body of the mandible on the right side, with buccal cortical plate expansion

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Figure 5: CBCT in the sagittal plane: A large multi-locular hypodense region extending from the right mandibular incisor to the ramus of the mandible

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Figure 6: Medium field of view CBCT scan of the mandibular arch reveals a multi-locular hypodense region extending from the right para-symphyseal region until the coronoid process involving the body and ramus of the mandible

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Figure 7: CBCT in the cross-section plane: Multi-radicular radiolucency can be seen extending from the mandibular right lateral incisor to the ramus of the mandible

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Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) was performed, but the result was inconclusive. Incisional biopsy was performed and sent for histopathological examination to the Department of Oral Pathology. The Department of Oral Pathology received multiple bits of the soft tissue specimen, measuring 0.9 × 0.8 cm in size, which was soft to firm in consistency. On histopathological examination, haematoxylin and eosin-stained sections revealed fine fibrillar collagen fibres and stellate fibroblasts. At places few foci of odontogenic epithelial rest cells [Figure 8]c were present with clusters of inflammatory cells. Occasional foci of ossification and areas of budding capillaries were also seen [Figure 8]a,[Figure 8]b,[Figure 8]c. Based on the histopathology report, a final diagnosis of odontogenic myxofibroma was given.
Figure 8: (a) Haematoxylin and eosin-stained tissue section showing fine fibrillar collagen fibres and round fibroblasts with a few inflammatory cells. (b) Haematoxylin and eosin-stained tissue section showing fine collagen fibres, the epithelial island at one focus, and stellate fibroblasts in the myxomatous background. (c) Haematoxylin and eosin-stained tissue section showing odontogenic epithelial rests in the myxoid background at 40 X magnification

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Because of the aggressive behaviour and destructive nature of the lesion, hemi-mandibulectomy under general anaesthesia of the tumour was performed. One-month follow-up was performed, and the patient was completely asymptomatic.

   Discussion Top

Odontogenic myxofibroma (MF) is a seldom benign intra-osseous neoplasm, which is called 'locally malignant' on account of its exceptionally high local aggressiveness, high recurrence rate, and non-metastasizing nature.[3] [Table 1] highlights the number of cases reported in the literature from the past ten years. On the basis of the data mentioned in [Table 1], the mandible is the most common site involved, and marked female predilection can be seen. It is common between the third and the fifth decade, and most of the cases are asymptomatic. On comparing the tabulated data with our present case, we also found similar findings.
Table 1: Review of literature of odontogenic myxofibroma

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Out of all odontogenic tumours, 2.3% to 17.7% cases of myxoma were reported, among which only a few cases of MF were found. As reported by Meleti M et al.[4] (2015), only 24 specific cases of MF have been reported and described in detail in the English literature since 1950. Approximately 0.05 new cases per million population per year were reported for MF.[2],[3],[4] Most of the cases reported were diagnosed between the second and fourth decades of life with a peak incidence in the third decade.

The histogenesis of myxoid tumours is still a topic of debate to date. Although Thoma et al.[15] in 1947 theorize that because the myxoma is derived from degeneration of a connective tissue tumour, the myxoma of the jaw is, in reality, an odontogenic fibroma that has undergone myxomatous degeneration. Bruce and Royer, however, believe that the tumour can arise by the proliferation of mesenchymal rests within the alveolar bone. They postulated that it is possible for embryonic mesenchymal rests located in this area to proliferate and form a myxofibroma.[15]

Myxomas have two different sites of occurrence: (1) facial bone: myxomas derived from the facial bone are further divided into true osteogenic myxoma and odontogenic myxomas and (2) soft-tissue myxomas of the larynx, parotid, and ear.[16] Clinically, patients afflicted with a myxofibroma generally comprise a painless and slowly enlarging expansion of the jaw as in our case. However, the pain might be there because of the involvement of neural structures. The premolar and molar regions of the mandible are the most common sites of occurrence for MF. Patients with posteriorly located tumours had a late diagnosis and bigger lesions when compared to those with anteriorly located tumours because disfigurement gets noticed first in the anterior portion. In the present case, the tumour was locally aggressive, involving more than half of the mandible in a very short span of time, which made this case unique.

Radiologically, MF can mimic various lesions of the jaw, which often leads to a mis-diagnosis. They should be differentiated from ameloblastoma, central giant-cell granulomas, and intra-osseous haemangiomas, odontogenic keratocysts, aneurysmal bone cysts,[17] as mentioned in [Table 2]. Usually, the compartments of ameloblastoma are round-like rather than the square or triangular spaces of odontogenic fibromas. Compared with MF, the margin and the cortical boundary of ameloblastoma are more corticated, and ameloblastoma does not invade soft tissues or interrupt the cortical continuity. The differentiating features of MF include the following points: (1) fine and straight septa separating the lesion into triangular, square, or rectangular spaces, which appear as “tennis racket” or “honeycomb” patterns; (2) septa that are frequently scattered to the borders of lesions and appeared perpendicular to the margins; (3) MF that was noted to tend to involve the alveolar process, scallop between the roots, and affect the integrity of the alveolar ridge; and (4) the cortex of MF that appeared normally perforated and the edge of the cortex expanded into the soft tissue.[17]
Table 2: Differential diagnosis of odontogenic myxoma[3]

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Histopathologically, the MF consists of a huge amount of inter-cellular substance rich in acid mucopolysaccharides and made up of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts dispersed in loose myxomatous connective tissues. A few areas may show mild pleomorphism that does not correlate with the rate of recurrence of these tumours.[16] The amount of collagen and mucoid material determines whether it can be called myxofibroma (MF) or fibromyxoma.[15]

Odontogenic myxomas express three varieties of cells as follows: spindle cells, stellate cells, and hyaline cells. Stellate cells are actively positive for transferrin, alpha 1-AT, S-100 protein, and vimentin. Hyaline cells combine with alpha 1-ACT and alpha 1-AT.[18]

Treatment options may vary from a conservative approach to enucleation of the lesion or curettage of the cavity to radical surgery. Recurrence is usually observed during the first 2 years after the first treatment. MF shows a recurrence rate between 25% and 43%. [19,20]

   Conclusion Top

MF is a benign, locally aggressive, painless, slow-growing tumour with a high recurrence rate. Based on clinical and radiological features, they are often mis-interpreted. Therefore, it is highly recommended that the patient must undergo radiographic investigation and biopsy to improve the outcome of treatment. To avoid recurrence, in-depth histopathology knowledge about the tumour of myxomatous origin is recommended.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient (s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Poudel P, Bajracharya B, Bhattacharya S, Bajracharya D, Singh S, Pokhrel P, et al. Odontogenic myxofibroma- Report of a rare entity. J Pathol Nepal 2016;6:1043.  Back to cited text no. 1
Godishala Swamy SR, Naag S, Bahl S, Priyadarshini E. Odontogenic myxoma: A causality dilemma – Report of a nonpareil case and review of literature. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2018;22(Suppl S1):2-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
Alok A, Hasan K, Singh S, Bhattacharya PT. Odontogenic myxoma involving maxilla: A case report. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2019;31:70-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
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Yilmaz YZ, Elkhatroushi T, Erdur ZB, Karaaltin MV, Çomunoğlu N, Batioğlu-Karaaltin A. The use of three-dimensional printed technology for mandibular reconstruction in a rare case of giant odontogenic Myxofibroma. J Craniofac Surg 2021;32:e618-20.  Back to cited text no. 11
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Khan SF, Agrawal P, Sur J. A rare case report of myxoid fibroma of maxilla. Quant Imaging Med Surg 2015;5:778-82.  Back to cited text no. 14
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Hadidy A, Alsharif A, Sheikh-Ali R, Abukhalaf M, Awidi A, Abukaraki A. Odontogenic myxofibroma synchronous with primary angiosarcoma of the spleen. Br J Radiol 2010;83:e10-3.  Back to cited text no. 20


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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