Author(s): Lee SK, Kim YS
Ameloblastomas and adenomatoid odontogenic tumors (AOTs) are common epithelial tumors of odontogenic origin. Ameloblastomas are clinico-pathologically classified into solid/multicystic, unicystic, desmoplastic, and peripheral types, and also divided into follicular, plexiform, acanthomatous, granular types, etc., based on their histological features. Craniopharyngiomas, derived from the remnants of Rathke's pouch or a misplaced enamel organ, are also comparable to the odontogenic tumors. The malignant transformation of ameloblastomas results in the formation of ameloblastic carcinomas and malignant ameloblastomas depending on cytological dysplasia and metastasis, respectively. AOTs are classified into follicular, extrafollicular, and peripheral types. Ameloblastomas are common, have an aggressive behavior and recurrent course, and are rarely metastatic, while AOTs are hamartomatous benign lesions derived from the complex system of the dental lamina or its remnants. With advances in the elucidation of molecular signaling mechanisms in cells, the cytodifferentiation of epithelial tumor cells in ameloblastomas and AOTs can be identified using different biomarkers. Therefore, it is suggested that comprehensive pathological observation including molecular genetic information can provide a more reliable differential diagnosis for the propagation and prognosis of ameloblastomas and AOTs. This study aimed to review the current concepts of ameloblastomas and AOTs and to discuss their clinico-pathological features relevant to tumorigenesis and prognosis.