Medline: 2523958

Journal of Clinical Oncology 7(6): 798-802, 1989.

The safety of dental extractions in patients with hematologic malignancies.

Williford SK, Salisbury PL III, Peacock JE Jr, et al.


Dental disorders have been recognized as major sources of infection in patients with hematologic malignancies (HM). Management of severe dental infections usually includes dental extractions (DE), but the safety of extractions in patients with HM who are at risk for bleeding, sepsis, and poor wound healing has not been well established. In conjunction with an aggressive program of dental care, 142 DE were performed in 26 patients with acute leukemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and myeloproliferative disorders. Granulocytopenia (less than 1,000 granulocytes/microL) was present during or within ten days following surgery in 14 patients. In these 14 patients (101 DE), the mean granulocyte count was less than 450/microL, with a median duration of granulocytopenia following surgery of 32 days (range, four to 169 days). Thrombocytopenia (less than 100,000 platelets/microL) occurred during or within two days following surgery in 13 patients (80 DE), with a mean platelet count of 63,500/microL. Transfusions were given for platelet counts less than 50,000/microL. All DE were performed without significant complications. Bleeding was minor to moderate and easily controlled with local measures; no patient required transfusion due to hemorrhage. Average maximum temperature 24 hours after DE was 37.7 degrees C. No episodes of bacteremia were documented within ten days of DE. Minor delay in wound healing was observed in two patients. We conclude that DE can be safely performed in patients with HM in combination with aggressive supportive care.

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