Odontogenic cutaneous fistulas: clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of 75 cases

Int J Dermatol. 2015 Jan;54(1):50-5. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12262. Epub 2013 Oct 18.


Background: Odontogenic cutaneous fistulas arise as a sequel of bacterial invasion of the dental pulp, become necrotic, and infection spreads into the periradicular area resulting in dissection and breakthrough to form sinus tracts that drain towards the skin. The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of patients diagnosed with odontogenic cutaneous fistulas.

Methods: A retrospective study was done between January 2001 and December 2011. Cases were included with a clinical and radiological diagnosis of odontogenic cutaneous fistulas. The variables investigated were frequency, gender, age, localization, morphology, time of evolution, and referral clinical diagnosis. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistical methods.

Results: During an 11-year period, 75 cases were found. Female gender predominated with 53% of the cases, and the mean age was 45 ± 26 years. The most frequent location was the mandible angle, in 36% of the cases, and the most common morphology was a nodule, in 52%. The mean time of evolution was 8 ± 11 months. The referral clinical diagnosis was odontogenic cutaneous fistulas in 51% of the cases.

Conclusions: Our results are similar to those previously published-the diagnosis was suspected in only half of the cases. We consider it important that odontogenic cutaneous fistulas be included among the differential diagnosis of cutaneous facial lesions to avoid delaying appropriate treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cutaneous Fistula / epidemiology
  • Cutaneous Fistula / pathology*
  • Dental Fistula / epidemiology
  • Dental Fistula / pathology*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth*
  • Young Adult