Radicular Cyst: Definition, Development, Components, Histology

October 19, 2011 | By | Reply More

Radicular Cyst: Definition, Development, Components, Histology


The radicular cyst is defined as an area of chronic inflammation exhibiting a closed central cavity surrounded by an epithelial lining.


The cyst develops–in three stages–from a pre-existing chronic apical periodontitis:

In the phase of initiation, dormant Malassezs rest cells begin to proliferate During phase 2, a central cavity lined by epithelium develops.

During the growth phase, the cyst enlarges in size as a result of osmotic and other factors that stimulate bone resorption.


The established radicular cyst consists of four components:

  • The connective tissue capsule
  • A subepithelial zone of chronic inflammatory infiltrate
  • The epithelial cyst wall
  • The cystic lumen.

In addition to desquamative, necrotic epithelial cells and cholesterol, the cystic lumen also contains inflammatory cells and debris from the resorbed osseous tissue



  • Within the lumen of the radicular cyst, one observes cholesterol crystals surrounded by the epithelial cystic wall.
  • The epithelial wall is a multilayered squamous epithelium.
  • Within the cystic cavity, one notes cholesterol crystals, necrotic tissue, neutrophilic granulocytes, and mononuclear leukocytes.
  • The remnants of lamellar bone within the cystic cavity indicate the resorptive capacity of the cystic tissues.
  • Multinuclear giant cells are both an indication of a possible foreign body reaction as well as of osteoclastic activity; adjacent plasma cells produce antibodies, primarily IgG and IgA, and lesser amounts of IgM and IgE; this is an expression of an immune reaction.
  • Lymphocytes are primarily T cells, less often B cells, in a ratio of 3:1.

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Category: Dental, Medical, Oral Pathology, Pathology, Uncategorized

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