"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead
Case Report

Expansile keratocystic odontogenic tumor in the maxilla: immunohistochemical studies and review of literature


Keratocystic odontogenic tumors (KCOT) - previously termed odontogenic keratocysts (OKC) - are characterized by aggressive behavior and a high rate of recurrence. Histopathologically, the basal layer of KCOT shows a higher cell proliferation rate and increased expression of anti-apoptosis genes. Clinically, KCOT is frequently involved in the mandibular posterior region but is not common in the posterior maxilla. However, it should be noted that due to its expansive characteristics, KCOT involved near the maxillary sinus could easily expand to an enormous size and occupy the entire maxilla. To achieve total excision of these expanded cystic tumors in the maxilla, a more aggressive approach would be needed. In this report, we describe two cases of expansile KCOT involving the entire unilateral maxilla and maxillary sinus; they were completely excised using the Weber-Ferguson approach, showing no evidence of recurrence during the follow-up period of more than two years. In immunohistochemical analyses of the tumor specimens, p53 and p63 showed strong expression, and B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2) and MKI67 (Ki-67) showed moderate or weak expression, however, detection of BCL2-associated X protein (BAX) was almost negative. These data indicate that expansile KCOT possesses increased anti-apoptotic activity and cell proliferation rate but decreased apoptosis. These properties of KCOT may contribute to tumor enlargement, aggressive behavior, and high recurrence rate.