Decompression followed by enucleation, which is one of the treatments used for odonto-genic keratocysts (OKCs), is frequently used in OKC lesions of large sizes. This method offers the advantage of minimizing the possibility of sensory impairment without creating a wide-range bone defect; moreover, the recurrence rate can be significantly lower than following simple enucleation. This study aimed to assess the changes in histology and expression of proliferation markers in OKCs before and after decompression treatment. A total of 38 OKC tissue samples from 19 patients who had undergone decompression therapy were examined morphologically and immunohistochemically to observe changes in proliferative activity before and after decompression. The markers used for immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining were Bcl-2, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), Ki-67, P53, PCNA, and SMO. The immunohistochemistry positivity of the 6 markers was scored by using software ImageJ, version 1.49, by quantifying the intensity and internal density of IHC-stained epithelium. The values of Bcl-2, Ki-67, P53, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and SMO in OKCs before and after decompression showed no significant change. No correlation between clinical shrinkage and morphologic changes or expression of proliferation and growth markers could be found. There was no statistical evidence that decompression treatment reduces potentially aggressive behavior of OKC within the epithelial cyst lining itself. This might indicate that decompression does not change the biological behavior of the epithelial cyst lining or the recurrence rate.
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