Background/aims: Postoperative maxillary cyst (POMC) is known to occur as a delayed complication of radical maxillary sinus surgery, such as Caldwell-Luc surgery. The cyst gradually expands with no symptoms over a period of years, and then occasionally causes swelling and pain in the buccal region and/or the mucogingival fold. It is probable that bacterial infection affects the progression of POMC symptoms. The aims of this study were to determine the bacterial density and to examine the presence of 20 oral bacteria in POMC fluids. Methods: POMC fluids (4 purulent, 2 mucous and 4 serous) were sampled from 10 subjects (aged 43-77 years). Bacterial quantification and detection were performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and nested PCR based on bacterial 16S rRNA genes, respectively. Results: Bacterial DNA was detected in all samples and the average concentrations of bacterial DNA were 5.9 (purulent), 0.5 (mucous), and 0.7 (serous) ng/mg of sample. Twelve bacterial species, including anginosus streptococci, known to be associated with abscess formation, were detected in the purulent fluids, while two and five species were detected in the mucous and serous fluids, respectively. Conclusion: Purulent fluids contained numerous bacteria of various types, thus suggesting that oral bacteria may cause symptoms such as pain in POMC with purulent fluids. Mucous and serous fluids also contained bacteria, although their numbers were small, thus suggesting an association between bacteria and progression of POMC.
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