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Chronic focal Langerhans cell histiocytosis of the left mandibular condyle presenting as limited jaw opening: A case report

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October 8, 2012
by Juan F. Yepes, DDS, MD, DrPH; Mohd Khalaf, DDS; Larry Cunningham, DDS, MD, FACS; John Lindroth, DDS


Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are common in the general population, with a particularly high prevalence among girls and women aged 15 to 25 years. The presence of chronic focal Langerhans cell histiocytosis in the mandibular condyle is rare, as only a few cases have been reported in the literature. We present the case of a 23-year-old woman who was referred to the Orofacial Pain Center at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry with a chief complaint of limited jaw opening of 7 months’ duration. She had previously received a preliminary diagnosis of a TMJ disorder and had been treated conservatively, but she did not improve. An initial panoramic film revealed a suspicious radiolucent area at the head of the left mandibular condyle. She was eventually diagnosed on histopathology with chronic focal Langerhans cell histiocytosis. She was treated with condylectomy and surgical curettage of the lesion.

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