Author(s): Kaehling Ch, Streckbein P, Schmermund D, Henrich M, Burchert D, , Kaehling Ch, Streckbein P, Schmermund D, Henrich M, Burchert D,
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Abstract CONTEXT: Bisphosphonates are common drugs used in the management of bone metabolic diseases. Because of their recently increased use, their adverse effects, especially bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ), are monitored more frequently. BRONJ is a critical challenge in craniofacial surgery and is difficult to treat. Its occurrence is either spontaneous or follows dentoalveolar surgery. Typical complications of BRONJ are painful exposed bone, pathological fractures, extra-oral fistula, and local infections. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to report a rare case of bacterial embolism in the internal jugular vein after a BRONJ-induced submandibular abscess resulting in bacterial sepsis, multi-organ failure syndrome, and death. CASE ILLUSTRATION: A 59-year-old female patient developed severe BRONJ (stage II) with recurrent abscesses after oral osteoporosis therapy with alendronic acid. A subsequent submandibular abscess led to bacterial embolism of the left internal jugular vein, causing sepsis and death. DISCUSSION: Prevention, early detection and management of BRONJ remain a crucial challenge in craniofacial clinical practice. Despite several therapeutic approaches described in the current literature, none have undergone bedside application. CONCLUSION: Considering this report of death after recurrent abscesses following BRONJ, the use of bisphosphonates should be carefully monitored in order to prevent such severe complications. Copyright © 2014 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Craniomaxillofac Surg
and referenced in Journal of General Practice