Radiopaque jaw lesions: An approach to the differential diagnosis

Academic Article


  • Radiopaque jaw lesions are frequently encountered at radiography and computed tomography, but they are usually underevaluated or underdescribed in radiology reports. A systematic approach to the evaluation of radiopaque jaw lesions is necessary to diagnose the lesion or at least provide a meaningful differential diagnosis. To evaluate a radiopaque jaw lesion, the first, most important step is to categorize the lesion according to its attenuation, its relationship to the teeth, and its location with respect to the tooth. These basic observations are essential to the evaluation of any type of jaw lesion. Once these observations have been made, it is easy to create a proper differential diagnosis. The presence of important characteristics, such as margination, a perilesional halo, bone expansion, and growth pattern, as well as whether the lesion is sclerotic, has ground-glass attenuation, or is mixed lytic and sclerotic, further narrows the differential diagnosis. It is important to note that some radiopaque jaw lesions may be entirely lucent early in their evolution. Awareness of the demographic distribution of these lesions and their associated clinical features, as well as the radiologic approach, is important to explore the "terra incognita" of radiopaque jaw lesions. © RSNA, 2012.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Curé JK; Vattoth S; Shah R
  • Start Page

  • 1909
  • End Page

  • 1925
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 7