Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy has been advocated as an adjunct in the enucleation and curettage of locally aggressive lesions of the jaws. Simultaneous autogenous bone grafting has also been advocated to accelerate bone formation and reduce morbidity. There is, however, relatively little scientific basis for either of these hypotheses. In this study, nine Yucatan minipigs had artificial defects created in the mandible, which were treated with liquid nitrogen spray. Half of the defects were grafted with autogenous bone from the chin and half were closed primarily. Two animals were sacrificed 3 days postoperatively to measure the width of necrosis and the rest were sacrificed at 3 months to assess healing and new bone formation. It was found that drilling the artificial defects alone caused bone necrosis for a mean depth of 0.09 mm. Liquid nitrogen cryospray caused a mean depth of bone necrosis of 0.82 mm (range 0.51-1.52 mm). The defects that were bone grafted healed well clinically. Defects not bone grafted showed a 50% rate of wound breakdown and sequestrum formation with delayed healing. Vital staining showed a non-significantly greater rate of bone formation in the grafted defects. Digitally superimposed radiography showed a non-significantly greater bone density in the non-grafted defects at 3 months postoperatively. It appears that liquid nitrogen cryospray does devitalize an area of bone around defects in the mandible. The width of necrosis is usually less than 1 mm and subsequent healing is enhanced by autogenous bone grafting. This has clinical implications.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2002|
- Bone grafting
- Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy