A Volumetric Assessment of External Cervical Resorption Cases and Its Correlation to Classification, Treatment Planning, and Expected Prognosis

Lea E. Matny, Nikita B. Ruparel, Martin D. Levin, Marcel Noujeim, Anibal Diogenes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: External cervical resorption (ECR) is a relatively uncommon type of external resorption; its treatment planning and prognosis are largely dependent on the clinician's subjective assessment. This study aimed to provide a volumetric assessment of ECR cases while correlating them to the Heithersay classification, treatment decision, and prognosis determined by 3 calibrated, independent evaluators. Methods: A total of 168 ECR cases with corresponding periapical radiographs and cone-beam computed tomographic (CBCT) imaging were included in this study. An oral and maxillofacial radiologist calculated the volume occupied by the resorptive defects in root structures on CBCT imaging using Amira software (Thermo Scientific, Waltham, MA). Also, 3 board-certified endodontists evaluated anonymized and randomized periapical radiographs and corresponding CBCT images in separate sessions. Examiners were asked to provide a Heithersay classification, whether they would surgically repair the ECR lesion, and the expected prognosis of each case. Results: The percentage of radicular volume affected by ECR ranged from 0.5%–58% with a median of 12%. The volumetric quantification of ECR best correlated with classification and prognosis assigned by the independent examiners using CBCT evaluation. The greatest variation in agreement was observed on whether to surgically repair the ECR. However, examiners agreed more uniformly on not to treat when the resorptive port of entry was found on either the lingual or proximal surfaces of the tooth. Conclusions: For the first time, the volumetric quantification of resorptive defects was calculated in vivo and correlated to the Heithersay classification and prognosis. Because the longevity of teeth affected with ECR depends on the integrity of the remaining root, the findings of this study provide important information to help clinicians decide on treatment planning and inform their patients of the expected prognosis. Future studies should focus on automating volumetric assessments of ECR to aid in unbiased chairside treatment planning decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1052-1058
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Cone-beam computed tomography
  • external cervical resorption
  • invasive cervical resorption
  • prognosis
  • repair
  • volumetric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


Dive into the research topics of 'A Volumetric Assessment of External Cervical Resorption Cases and Its Correlation to Classification, Treatment Planning, and Expected Prognosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this