Ghost cells in compound odontoma: a study of undemineralized material

A Piattelli, P Trisi


Calcifications and ghost cells at the enamel surface or in the ameloblastic epithelium were studied in twelve odontomas using undemineralized material.

Calcified material formed focally in the intercellular portion of the enamel epithelium: this material showed a concentric layers arrangement.

Ghost cells were present in most of the odontomas.

These ghost cells were epithelial cells which enlarged, became eosiniphilic and underwent an aberrant type of keratinization with the formation of large masses of keratin, that didn’t stain as deeply as normal keratin. These cells often showed karyolysis of the nucleus as keratinization progressed. Frequent was the appearance of dystrophic calcifications in individual cells or clusters of cells, characterized by extremely fine basophilic granularity. The outlines of these keratinized cells could often still be discerned, even if with some difficulty.


ghost cells; odontogenic tumors; odontoma; compound

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