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OBJECTIVE: Computed Tomography (CT) patterns of oral and maxillofacial diseases in our environment are either poorly documented or may not be complemented with histopathological evaluation for definitive diagnosis; to ensure proper staging and prognostication of the malignant lesions. This study aims at determining the CT patterns and to compare the findings with histopathological diagnosis of oral and maxillofacial lesions in a Nigerian population.
METHODS: A retrospective review of the clinical records, CT reports and available conventional images, complemented with a review of the histopathological slides and reports of patients with diagnosed oral and maxillofacial diseases over a 10-year period.
RESULTS: Only 40 (83.3%) patients with CT and complementary histopathological reports of the lesions were selected for this study. The lesions occurred in patients with a mean age of 43+ 2.7 (S.E.) years and the peak age group was the 6th decade of life (n=11, 27.5%). There was a male to female ratio of 1:1.1 and the maxilla (n= 27, 67.5%) was the commonest solitary clinical site. The commonest clinical diagnoses was antral carcinoma (n=6, 15.0%). The CT findings were mostly ill-defined lesional margin (n=31, 77.5%), solid pattern (n=32, 80.0%), heterogeneous contrast enhancement (n=11, 27.5%), soft tissue compression (n=20, 50.0%),
bone and soft tissue infiltration (n=30, 75.0%). The histopathological diagnosis of the lesions were mostly malignant lesions (n=24, 60.0%) associated significantly with ill-defined lesional margin and heterogeneous contrast enhancement pattern on CT.
CONCLUSION: This study recommends a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of oral and maxillofacial diseases in our environment