Secondary aneurysmal bone cysts and associated primary lesions: imaging features of 49 cases

Luis B Gutierrez, Thomas M Link, Andrew E Horvai, Gabby B Joseph, Richard J O'Donnell, Daria Motamedi
Clinical Imaging 2020, 62: 23-32

PURPOSE: To describe the imaging, anatomic, and clinical features of a series of secondary aneurysmal bone cysts (ABC) and to ascertain their most commonly associated primary bone lesions.

METHODS: Forty-nine cases of histopathologically proven secondary ABCs were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic data and clinical history were obtained. Radiographic, computed tomographic, magnetic resonance, and nuclear medicine imaging were analyzed. Lesion location, imaging characteristics, and associated primary lesions were documented. Linear regression analysis and Chi-squared testing was performed for statistical analysis.

RESULTS: Twenty-four males and 25 females were included, with an age range of 8-79 years (mean 29.7 + - 4.5 years). Eleven types of primary bone lesion were identified, with giant-cell tumor (n = 17, 35%), chondroblastoma (n = 11, 22%), fibrous dysplasia (n = 6, 12%), osteoblastoma (n = 4, 8%) and osteosarcoma (n = 4, 8%) being the most frequent. The lesions involved chiefly the long bone epiphyses (n = 25, 51%). Secondary ABC imaging findings and locations most closely approximated those of their primary counterparts, although fluid-fluid levels were seen at a higher frequency than previously reported in primary chondroblastoma (9/11, 82%), fibrous dysplasia (2/6, 33%), osteoblastoma (4/4, 100%), osteosarcoma (3/4, 75%), and chondromyxoid fibroma (1/2, 50%).

CONCLUSION: The most common primary lesions associated with secondary ABC were giant cell tumor and chondroblastoma, located in the long bone epiphyses. The majority of the secondary ABCs demonstrate predominant imaging characteristics typical of the primary bone lesions, but with a higher presence of fluid-fluid levels.

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