In vivo tetracycline labeling of bone: an intraoperative aid in the surgical therapy of osteoradionecrosis of the mandible.

Research paper by Christoph C Pautke, Thomas T Tischer, Andreas A Neff, Hans-Henning HH Horch, Andreas A Kolk

Indexed on: 02 Dec '06Published on: 02 Dec '06Published in: Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics


In this technical approach, we demonstrate that preoperative tetracycline administration helps distinguish between viable and necrotic bone in osteoradionecrosis (ORN) during surgery by exciting tetracycline fluorescence by black light. The difficult aspect of the operative approach lies in the decision of the extent of the debridement in order to prevent an iatrogenic fracture or progression of ORN. With this technique, vital bone, in contrast to necrotic bone, showed detectable fluorescence. Therefore, tetracycline fluorescence labeling may be used in attempts to facilitate the intraoperative decision making in the surgical therapy of osteoradionecrosis.