Prevalence of ciliated epithelium in apical periodontitis lesions

Domenico Ricucci, Simona Loghin, José F. Siqueira, Rafik A. Abdelsayed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction This article reports on the morphologic features and the frequency of ciliated epithelium in apical cysts and discusses its origin. Methods The study material consisted of 167 human apical periodontitis lesions obtained consecutively from patients presenting for treatment during a period of 12 years in a dental practice operated by one of the authors. All of the lesions were obtained still attached to the root apices of teeth with untreated (93 lesions) or treated canals (74 lesions). The former were obtained by extraction and the latter by extraction or apical surgery. Specimens were processed for histopathologic and histobacteriologic analyses. Lesions were classified, and the type of epithelium, if present, was recorded. Results Of the lesions analyzed, 49 (29%) were diagnosed as cysts. Of these, 26 (53%) were found in untreated teeth, and 23 (47%) related to root canal-treated teeth. Ciliated columnar epithelium was observed partially or completely lining the cyst wall in 4 cysts, and all of them occurred in untreated maxillary molars. Three of these lesions were categorized as pocket cysts, and the other was a true cyst. Conclusions Ciliated columnar epithelium-lined cysts corresponded to approximately 2% of the apical periodontitis lesions and 8% of the cysts of endodontic origin in the population studied. This epithelium is highly likely to have a sinus origin in the majority of cases. However, the possibility of prosoplasia or upgraded differentiation into ciliated epithelium from the typical cystic lining squamous epithelium may also be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-483
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Apical cyst
  • apical periodontitis lesion
  • ciliated epithelium
  • metaplasia
  • prosoplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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