How effective is 5-Fluorouracil as an adjuvant in the management of odontogenic keratocyst? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:February 16, 2022DOI:


      Odontogenic keratocyst (OKC) is known for its benign but aggressive clinical behaviour, and presents a challenge in its management due to high recurrence rate following surgical intervention. The sourcing of Carnoy’s solution, the widely used adjunct in OKC treatment, has lately become difficult especially after its banning by the United States Food and Drugs Agency (FDA). This has generated interest in exploring alternative chemical agents such as 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) and Modified Carnoy’s solution (MCS). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of 5-FU as an adjunct following surgical intervention of OKC. A protocol was registered in PROSPERO prior to the literature search. All studies reporting the use of 5-FU in OKC treatment were included in the initial search of multiple literature databases. Of the 148 initially identified articles, three met the criteria for the final appraisal. The relevant data were extracted and a meta-analysis was undertaken in relation to recurrence rate and nerve paraesthesia. There were no recurrence observed in cases treated with 5-FU (n=56), and the incidence of nerve paraesthesia was 20% (none permanent). This systematic review has revealed early encouraging results for 5-FU as an adjunct, however a caution is recommended due to overall low quality of evidence related to individual studies. We present the cumulative evidence on the effectiveness of 5-FU in OKC treatment with discussion on its mechanism of action, safety profile, application protocol, and the implications for clinical practice.


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