Inflammatory odontogenic cysts

Louis M. Lin, Paul A. Rosenberg, Domenico Ricucci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A radicular cyst is a pathologic cavity partially or completely lined by epithelium in an area of apical periodontitis. It is caused by infection of the root canal system, which results in an immuno-inflammatory response of the periapical tissues. A radicular cyst is presumably formed by inflammatory proliferation of epithelial cell rests in an area of apical periodontitis. Radicular cysts can be categorized into pocket and true cysts. Clinically, it is not possible to make a definitive diagnosis of a radicular cyst. The final conclusive diagnosis of a radicular cyst can only be made through histological examination of biopsy specimens. Radicular cysts [pocket and true] are of inflammatory origin and are not developmental or neoplastic. As in other infectious diseases, they should be able to regress after elimination of infection, possibly by the mechanism of apoptosis or programmed cell death. Since radicular cysts cannot be diagnosed clinically, all cyst-like inflammatory periapical lesions should be treated initially by conservative procedures, such as non-surgical root canal therapy or a decompression technique. If large cyst-like periapical lesions are treated surgically, recurrence will not occur even if the epithelial lining is not completely enucleated. Failure of radicular cysts to regress after non-surgical or surgical treatment is due to persistent intraradicular infection or reinfection of involved teeth and not due to a self-sustaining nature of the cysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCysts
Subtitle of host publicationCauses, Diagnosis and Treatment Options
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9781620813157
StatePublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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