Oral bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw: The first report in Asia

J. W. Hong, W. Nam, I. H. Cha, S. W. Chung, H. S. Choi, K. M. Kim, K. J. Kim, Y. Rhee, S. K. Lim

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53 Citations (Scopus)


Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) is a serious side effect of bisphosphonate therapy. The incidence of BRONJ is known to be low among patients treated with oral bisphosphonates. We investigated the prevalence, demographics, clinical manifestations, and treatment outcome of 24 patients with oral BRONJ in Asian populations. Introduction: The long-term safety of oral bisphosphonates is clinically important considering the rare but potentially serious complications such as bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) versus the effect of reducing and preventing osteoporotic fracture. The incidence of BRONJ is known to be low among patients treated with oral bisphosphonates around the world. However, the prevalence in those taking oral bisphosphonates for osteoporosis in Asian populations is unknown. Moreover, a recent article, showing that the majority of reported patients who received alendronate were Asian American, raised concern about the prevalence of oral BRONJ in Asian populations. The objective of this study was to investigate the estimated prevalence, clinical characteristics, and treatment outcome of oral BRONJ in Asian populations. Methods: From October 2005 to December 2008, a retrospective review of medical charts identified 24 patients receiving oral bisphosphonates diagnosed as BRONJ at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Yonsei University Dental Hospital, Seoul, South Korea. Results: The estimated prevalence of oral BRONJ was 0.05-0.07%. The average oral bisphosphonate treatment duration was 43.1 months (range, 5-120 months). Treatment with oral antibiotics and/or surgery including sequestrectomy or alveolectomy showed relatively favorable results. Conclusions: The prevalence of oral BRONJ in Korea is similar to that reported previously in Western populations. We suggest that recognition of BRONJ and appropriate management pre- and post-dental surgery might reduce the frequency of BRONJ among patients receiving oral bisphosphonates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages7
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) through the Bone Metabolism Research Center (No. R11-2008-023-02002-0).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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