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Aneurysmal bone cyst is neither a cyst nor an aneurysm, but an expansile osteolytic lesion, usually multilocular, with blood-filled spaces separated by fibrous septa. It occurs more commonly in long bones, the jawbones being less frequently affected. The mandible is involved more than the maxilla. The cyst occurs in patients under 30 years, and both sexes are equally affected. The lesions are painful. Swelling over the area of affected bone is common. Radiographically, it appears as a honeycomb or soap bubble expansile lesion.

Aneurysmal bone cyst must be differentiated from two other pseudocysts of the jaws:
  • The traumatic bone cyst: an intraosseous pseudocyst usually seen in the mandible which is devoid of epithelial lining, either empty or filled with serous fluid.
  • Static or Stafne cyst: an anatomic defect in the mandible. This appears as a well-circumscribed round or oval mass located below the inferior mandibular canal just anterior to the angle of the mandible. It presents as a well-defined radiolucency and may contain salivary gland tissue.
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Curetting or surgical resection is recommended for aneurysmal bone cyst. Sometimes bone grafting may be necessary.

Figure 1: Aneurysmal bone cyst. Expansile multilocular "soap bubble"-like osteolysis with soft tissue extension transversed by intralesional bony septa. Although barely visible, the extraosseous component is well-delineated. Root resorption of included teeth.
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