Osteoradionecrosis: clinical experience and a proposal for classification

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1987 Feb;45(2):104-10. doi: 10.1016/0278-2391(87)90399-5.


Osteoradionecrosis is a severe complication of radiation therapy for cancer. Prevention of osteoradionecrosis is most important as the condition may be chronic, progressive and lead to pathologic fracture. The clinical experience at the Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia with 26 cases in approximately 1000 patients treated with radical radiation therapy to the head and neck region is presented and discussed. A clinical classification system is proposed to provide a guide for treatment selection, and to allow classification for research purposes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Mandible / radiation effects*
  • Mandibular Diseases / classification
  • Mandibular Diseases / pathology*
  • Mandibular Diseases / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / radiation effects
  • Osteoradionecrosis / classification
  • Osteoradionecrosis / pathology*
  • Osteoradionecrosis / therapy
  • Radiation Injuries / pathology*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Sex Factors