Objective: To describe ameloblastoma of the jawbone in young Jamaicans, with special emphasis on radiological findings, and to introduce a radiological classification which could assist in the categorization of these cases according to their biological behaviour and hence their subsequent surgical and medical management.
Subjects and Methods: The series comprised all the 18 cases of ameloblastoma of the jaw seen in patients under the age of 20 years in the two major hospitals in Jamaica with an oral and maxillofacial surgery department from 1980 to 1995. Radiological and histological diagnosis was confirmed in all. A case of maxillary ameloblastoma in a 13-year old girl seen in the year 2000 was also included in this study. This last case had special attributes.
Results: All 19 patients had primary lesions of ameloblastoma. The mean age was 16.1 years with a mode of 18 years and a range of 13 to19 years. The male to female ratio was 1.1:1. Eighteen cases were seen in the mandible and one case in the maxilla. Of these, 42% were unilocular and 58% were multilocular radiologically. Thirty-two per cent of cases had unerupted teeth associated with the lesions and 32% had root resorption. Based on our new radiological classification, the most predominant radiological type was IIb2 with root resorption (42%). There was no radiological type classically simulating dentigerous cyst (Ia2).
Conclusion: Ameloblastoma in young Jamaicans presented more in the adolescent period and are predominantly unicystic and rare in the maxilla. A new classification for ameloblastoma based solely on radiological presentation is adopted.