Malignant mental nerve neuropathy: systematic review

Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2008 Oct 1;13(10):E616-21.


Malignant mental neuropathy (MMN) is a neurological manifestation of cancer, characterized by the presence of hypoesthesia or anesthesia restricted to the territory of the mental branch of the mandibular nerve. A systematic review of the literature has been made on MMN, analyzing the etiology, pathogeny, clinical characteristics, complementary tests and the prognosis. Sixteen studies, providing 136 cases were selected. Breast cancer and lymphomas were the most frequently associated malignant diseases. The most frequent pathogenic mechanisms producing neurological involvement were: peripherally, mandibular lesions; and centrally, tumors at the base of the cranium. Regarding clinical characteristics, manifestation of MMN was the primary symptom of malignant disease in 27.7% of cases, and a first symptom of recurrence in 37.7%. The group of selected studies included 50 orthopantomographs, 9 mandibular computed tomographies and 50 radiographic examinations of the cranial region. The most affected region was the mandible. The appearance of MMN is an ominous prognosis for the progression of the disease, with a mortality of 78.5% within a mean of 6.9 months.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Chin*
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Mandibular Nerve*
  • Neoplasms / complications*