Journal of Pharmacy And Bioallied Sciences

: 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 823--826

A rare presentation of a simple bone cyst

E Tatu Joy, LP Raghupathy, J Eugenia Sherubin, M Shashi Kiran 
 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Sree Mookambika Institute of Dental Sciences, Kulasekharam, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
M Shashi Kiran
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Sree Mookambika Institute of Dental Sciences, Kulasekharam, Tamil Nadu


Simple bone cyst is an oft-described entity, which goes by many sobriquets and has been presented in the literature as early as 1926. It is a lesion of unclear etiology with many proposed hypothesis for its pathogenesis and nonspecific histopathological presentation. We present a case of a solitary bone cyst, which clinically presented as a solitary lesion, but radiological examination revealed multiple lesions peppering the maxilla and the mandible, thereby highlighting the importance of atypical presentation and źDQ╗surpriseźDQ╗ lesions that may show up on radiological examination.

How to cite this article:
Joy E T, Raghupathy L P, Sherubin J E, Kiran M S. A rare presentation of a simple bone cyst.J Pharm Bioall Sci 2015;7:823-826

How to cite this URL:
Joy E T, Raghupathy L P, Sherubin J E, Kiran M S. A rare presentation of a simple bone cyst. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Aug 9 ];7:823-826
Available from:

Full Text

Simple bone cysts (SBCs) of the jaw were initially described as an entity in 1926 by Lucas and Blum and later qualified in 1946 by Rushton as a single cyst that has no epithelial lining, has an intact bony wall, is fluid filled and has no evidence of acute or chronic inflammation. [1],[2] Various synonyms of SBCs are traumatic bone cysts, hemorrhagic bone cysts, solitary bone cysts, progressive bone cysts, extravasation cysts, unicameral bone cysts, and SBCs. [2],[3],[4]

As implied by the name, there is no clear etiology for these lesions. Specifically, trauma has been ruled out as a cause of idiopathic bone cavities (IBCs) because the incidence of these lesions in patients with prior trauma is the same as that in the general population. [2] Other hypotheses include a blockage of lymphatic drainage from venous sinusoids leading to resorption of bony trabeculae, developmental anomalies resulting in synovial fluid being incorporated intraosseously, and osteolysis secondary to altered bone metabolism. [5],[6] These lesions are usually an incidental finding discovered during routine radiographic examination, most commonly in a patient's second and third decade of life. There is no gender predilection.

Radiographically, these lesions present as well demarcated, unilocular radiolucencies that frequently scallop adjacent teeth roots, which are vital without evidence of resorption or displacement. This finding distinguishes IBCs from more worrisome odontogenic lesions.

Histologically, no signs of the epithelium will be found, although fibrous tissue lining may be observed. Sometimes myxomatous changes and fragments of vital bone are observed. [4]

Treatment involves surgical exploration that typically reveals an empty cavity with smooth walls. A thin fibrous lining or the mandibular neurovascular bundle may be observed. Serosanguineous fluid may be aspirated as well. Often the final diagnosis and treatment are completed in the same surgical procedure. [4]

 Case Report

A 50-year-old female patient was referred to our Department of Oral Medicine and Radiodiagnosis with a complaint of a painless swelling over the right mandibular region since 3 months. Her past dental history revealed extraction 5 years ago. Medical history was not contributory. Intraoral examination revealed a swelling in relation to the right mandibular posterior region extending from the region of 45 to 48 posteriorly and left mandibular posterior region extending from 35 to 38 [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. On palpation, expansion of buccal and lingual cortical plates was observed. Vitality tests for the associated teeth proved to be positive. A Panoramic radiograph was taken to view the apparently isolated lesion on the mandibular right posterior region. The radiolucency observed in the region of right mandibular posteriors was multilocular with sclerotic borders extending posteriorly up to the anterior border of the ramus with the superior wall scalloping between the roots of 44 and 47 region. In addition to the suspected multilocular radiolucency, orthopantomographs revealed bountiful lesions; multiple radiolucencies were noted in the anterior maxilla and lower left body of the mandible [Figure 3]. Computed tomography (CT) scan revealed the bilateral involvement of the posterior aspect of mandible [Figure 4] and anterior aspect of maxilla [Figure 5] showing bicortical expansion in relation to right and left posterior mandible. A clinical diagnosis of the traumatic bone cyst with differential diagnosis of central giant cell granuloma and odontogenic keratocyst was rendered.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}

Patient was offered a choice of surgical exploration and biopsy. Surgery revealed empty cavities [Figure 6], [Figure 7] and [Figure 8]. Curettage of the cavities was done, and the obtained connective tissue material was sent for histopathological examination, which revealed densely inflamed connective tissue stroma with extravasated red blood cells, necrotic changes, and chronic inflammatory cells. However, there was no evidence of any cystic epithelium.{Figure 6}{Figure 7}{Figure 8}

Patient made an unremarkable recovery after surgery. Follow-up radiographs after a period of 6 months showed 90% of bone regeneration [Figure 9].{Figure 9}


Comparing our data with the literature review, an interesting finding of SBCs in an older age group that were not associated with cement-osseous dysplasia is rare, such variation in the clinical presentation of SBCs may be relevant to the better understanding of this underexplored lesion. [7]

These lesions showed radiographic characteristics that suggested differential diagnoses of ameloblastoma, odontogenic keratocyst tumor or a central giant cell lesion in view of their location. Due to these radiographic characteristics, CT imaging is important for an accurate diagnosis, as this may avoid unnecessarily aggressive surgical approaches, like en bloc resections of the mandible. [8]

Suei et al. found that most recurrences were seen within 5 months of the surgical treatment, and this group recommended that follow-up should be continued until healing was confirmed radiographically within 3 years. [9] In our sample, evidence of new bone formation after surgery was noticed within 3 months of the surgery and complete healing was noticed radiographically.

The most common radiographic finding in multifocal SBCs was scalloping, consistent with what is traditionally described in single lesions. [10] Bony expansion and multilocular radiolucent patterns were observed. [11] In general, SBCs have a tendency to grow along the long axis of the bone, causing minimal expansion; however, expansion of the involved bone can occur and is more common with larger lesions. [10]

In general, the mandibular body is by far the most common location for SBCs, with the maxilla representing an uncommon site. [5],[12] One explanation for this lower prevalence in the maxilla could be related to the possibility that maxillary lesions are obscured by the overall radiolucent appearance imparted by the maxillary sinus. [12],[13],[14] Another possible explanation could be due to differences in the quality and amount of bone marrow and vascularity in the maxilla compared to the mandible. [15] In this case, we noted that multiple SBCs in the mandibular body, as well as maxilla.

Curettage of the bone walls is the most widely accepted approach to the management of SBCs of the jaws, the goal being to promote the formation of a blood clot and subsequent bone repair. [11],[16] In addition, application of Gelfoam, grafting of allogenic bone with platelet-rich plasma and intralesional injections of a mixture of blood, porous hydroxyapatite, and bone fragments have been reported to produce good results. [17],[18],[19]


In general, all maxillofacial lesions present with a standard set pattern of clinical or radiographic presentations. However, this case defies the "regular standards" set for a traumatic bone cyst. Proper recording of case history, knowledge of symptomatology, and correct radiographic interpretation will be helpful for proper diagnosis and management. Being open to all probabilities and possibilities would be an added advantage.


1Lucas CD, Blum T. Do all cysts in the jaws originate from the dental system? J Am Dent Assoc 1929;16:647-661.
2Marx R, Stern D. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology: A Rationale for Diagnosis and Treatment. Chicago: Quintessence; 2003. p. 211-3.
3Neville B, Damm D, Allen C, Bouquot J. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. 2 nd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2002. p. 549-51.
4Kuhmichel A, Bouloux GF. Multifocal traumatic bone cysts: Case report and current thoughts on etiology. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2010;68:208-12.
5Velez I, Cardenas LE, Evans B. Idiopathic bone cavity mimics odontogenic lesion. Todays FDA 2006;18:21-3.
6Cohen J. Simple bone cysts. Studies of cyst fluid in six cases with a theory of pathogenesis. J Bone Joint Surg Am 1960;42-A: 609-16.
7Tong AC, Ng IO, Yan BS. Variations in clinical presentations of the simple bone cyst: Report of cases. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2003;61:1487-91.
8Mathew R, Omami G, Gianoli D, Lurie A. Unusual cone-beam computerized tomography presentation of traumatic (simple) bone cyst: Case report and radiographic analysis. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 2012;113:410-3.
9Suei Y, Taguchi A, Tanimoto K. Simple bone cyst of the jaws: Evaluation of treatment outcome by review of 132 cases. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2007;65:918-23.
10White SC, Pharoah MJ, editors. Oral Radiology: Principles and Interpretation. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Inc.; 2009. p. 361-4.
11Suei Y, Taguchi A, Tanimoto K. A comparative study of simple bone cysts of the jaw and extracranial bones. Dentomaxillofac Radiol 2007;36:125-9.
12Kaugars GE, Cale AE. Traumatic bone cyst. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1987;63:318-24.
13Hansen LS, Sapone J, Sproat RC. Traumatic bone cysts of jaws. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1974;37:899-910.
14Moenning JE, Tawadros AM, Garrison BT, Graham LL. Multiple radiolucencies of the mandible: A review of differential diagnoses and a case report. J Indiana Dent Assoc 1984;63:11-3.
15Kahn MA. Clinicopathologic correlation quiz: Unilocular periapical radiolucencies. Traumatic bone cyst. J Tenn Dent Assoc 1997;77:24, 35-6.
16Levin LS, Young RJ, Pyeritz RE. Osteogenesis imperfecta type I with unusual dental abnormalities. Am J Med Genet 1988;31:921-32.
17Howe GL. 'Haemorrhagic cysts' of the mandible. II. Br J Oral Surg 1965;3:77-91.
18Kraut R, Robin C. Idiopathic bone cavity. A report of recurrent lesions and their management. N Y State Dent J 2003;69:30-3.
19Dellinger TM, Holder R, Livingston HM, Hill WJ. Alternative treatments for a traumatic bone cyst: A longitudinal case report. Quintessence Int 1998;29:497-502.