Pentoxifylline and tocopherol for the treatment of osteoradionecrosis of the jaws. A systematic review

M. Arqueros-Lemus, D. Mariño-Recabarren, S. Niklander, R. Martínez-Flores, V. Moraga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Osteoradionecrosis of the jaws (ORNJ) is a severe and challenging complication of head and neck radiation therapy. Despite its aggressiveness and controversy respect to its efficacy, surgical intervention remains the main treatment modality. Nevertheless, due to advances in the understanding of ORNJ physiopathology, new treatment alternatives such as the combination of pentoxifylline with tocopherol (PENTO) have emerged. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the reported efficacy of PENTO for the treatment of ORNJ.  Material and Methods: Studies were search using Pubmed, The Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science data bases following the PRISMA guidelines. Inclusion criteria were cohort, case series, randomized or non-randomized clinical studies published in English including human subjects who received PENTO as treatment for ORN of the jaws.  Results: Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria and were included for data analysis. All studies reported patients with complete mucosal coverage with no exposed bone (considered healthy) after PENTO treatment, ranging from 16.6% to 100% of the patients, depending on the study. Clinical improvement or disease stabilization was reported between 7.6% and 66.6% of studied individuals, while disease progression was seen in only 5 studies involving 7.6 - 32% of patients. CONCLUSIONS: PENTO treatment achieved a complete disease control in a significant number of patients in all studies. However, there is no standardized protocol for administering the therapy. It is necessary to determine the pharmacological doses and to evaluate the benefits of adding antibiotics and clodronate. Good quality clinical trials are needed to develop a successful algorithm for the management of ORN of the jaws.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e293-e300
JournalMedicina Oral, Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023


  • Osteoradionecrosis of the jaws
  • pentoxifylline
  • radiotherapy
  • tocopherol
  • vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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