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Surg Neurol Int 2011,  2:118

Giant intracranial osteochondroma: A case report and review of the literature

1 Department of Pathology, Guntur Medical College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Government General Hospital, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Submission21-Jun-2011
Date of Acceptance28-Jun-2011
Date of Web Publication30-Aug-2011

Correspondence Address:
Renuka Inuganti Venkata
Department of Pathology, Guntur Medical College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
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DOI: 10.4103/2152-7806.84242

PMID: 21918733

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Background: Intracranial osteochondromas are uncommon. The majority of lesions arise from the base of the skull or from bones developed by endochondral ossification. A minority of cases are attached to the falxcerebri in the fronto parietal location.
Case Description: We report a case of a giant intracranial osteochondroma in a 24-year-old man. This patient presented with complaints of convulsions and headache. Imaging studies of the brain, gross, and histological features concluded it to be an osteochondroma.
Conclusion: This case is reported in view of extreme rarity of the lesion, and to emphasize the fact that complete surgical resection is curative.

Keywords: Falxcerebri, intracranial, osteochondroma

How to cite this article:
Venkata RI, Kakarala SV, Garikaparthi S, Duttaluru SS, Parvatala A, Chinnam A. Giant intracranial osteochondroma: A case report and review of the literature. Surg Neurol Int 2011;2:118

How to cite this URL:
Venkata RI, Kakarala SV, Garikaparthi S, Duttaluru SS, Parvatala A, Chinnam A. Giant intracranial osteochondroma: A case report and review of the literature. Surg Neurol Int [serial online] 2011 [cited 2015 Apr 27];2:118. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Intracranial osteochondromas represent 0.1-0.2% of all intracranial tumors. [3] They arise from the residual rests of primordial cartilage in basilar synchondroses entrapped during endochondral ossification of the skull base; hence they arise most commonly in the middle cranial fossa where so many sutures converge. About 15% of them arise supra tentorially attached to the falx cerebri in the fronto parietal location. [3]

   Case Report Top

A 24-year-old man was admitted with a history of convulsions since 3 months and episodes of headache since 2 months. Neurological examination was unremarkable. Preoperative computed tomography of the brain showed a mixed density mass of size 7 × 6 cm with calcifications in the right frontal lobe. Differential diagnoses offered were oligodendroglioma and meningioma. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a heterogeneous mass lesion of size 5.5 × 4.5 cm in the right frontal lobe with tiny hypo intense foci [Figure 1]. There was a mass effect over the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere with sub falcine herniation to the left. A differential diagnosis of oligodendroglioma/astrocytoma was offered.
Figure 1: MRI scan with a heterogeneous mass lesion in the right frontal lobe Figure

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Operative findings

On opening the dura, a hard, glistening white smooth-surfaced irregular mass was seen in the right frontal region, with minimal attachment to the dura; the mass was resected enbloc [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Glistening white irregular mass being resected enbloc

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Pathological findings

An ivory hard lobulated gray blue translucent mass measuring 7 × 7 × 3.5 cm was received. The cut section of the tumor showed a cartilaginous cap with underlying hard bone [Figure 3]. Microscopic examination revealed a tumor predominantly composed of lobules of cartilage with underlying bone [Figure 4] and [Figure 5]. The cartilaginous area showed lobular arrangement of clusters of lacunae containing single chondrocytes. There were no areas of necrosis, cellular pleomorphism, nuclear atypia, or binucleate chondrocytes.
Figure 3: Cut section of the lobulated tumor with grayish blue translucent areas

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Figure 4: Tumor showing a well-capsulated cartilaginous cap (H and E, ×400)

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Figure 5: Tumor showing the central core of osseous tissue (H and E, ×400)

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   Discussion Top

Osteochondroma, also known as exostosis, is a benign cartilage capped tumor that originates on the surface of bones. They are commonly seen in long tubular bones such as the distal femur, proximal tibia, and proximal humerus. Intracranial osteochondromas are rare, if seen; the majority arise from the base of the skull. Very few cases arise from the dura attached to the falx cerebri in the fronto parietal location as in the present case. Extra skeletal osteochondromas originate from nonskeletal or noncartilaginous tissue. Intracranial osteochondromas are solitary but few cases occur as components of generalized mesenchymal neoplasias including Maffuci's and Ollier's disease. These tumors are seen as a result of defective endochondral ossification.

Intracranial osteochondromas arise at any age with a predilection for younger individuals. Tumor grows slowly over many years and can attain a very large size without clinical symptoms, especially when supratentorial. Tumors arising from the base of the skull present earlier. They have also been reported to arise from cranial nerves, [4] walls of the ventricles, and from the choroid plexus, posterior clinoid process. [6] In imaging studies the main differential diagnosis were meningioma and oligodendroglioma because both can show calcifications. [5]

The main pathological differential diagnosis was low grade chondrosarcoma, which was ruled out in the present case by the absence of cellular pleomorphism, nuclear atypia, and binucleate chondrocytes. An extensive skeletal survey of the patient and past clinical history ruled out the possibility of a secondary deposit from a low-grade chondrosarcoma.

Complete surgical excision is curative. [2] Tumors of the base of the skull, due to incomplete excision, may show recurrence. Transition to chondrosarcoma has been rarely documented. [1] In the present case the tumor was resected completely and patient was relieved of all the symptoms. Follow-up of the patient with clinical examination and imaging studies of the brain showed no evidence of any recurrence.

   Conclusion Top

This case is reported in view of extreme rarity of the lesion, and to emphasize the fact that complete surgical resection is curative.

   References Top

1.Bonde V, Srikant B, Goel A. Osteochondroma of basi-occiput. Neurol India 2007;55:182-3.   Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.De Benedittis G, Bernasconi V, Etorre G. Tumors of the fifth cranial nerve. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 1977;38:37-64.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Kumar S, Shah AK, Patel AM, Shah UA. CT and MR images of the flat bone Osteochondroma from head to foot: A pictorial essay. Indian J Radiol Imaging 2006;16:589-96.  Back to cited text no. 3
  Medknow Journal  
4.Paulus W, Scheithauer BW, Perry A. Mesenchymal, non-meningothelial tumors. In: David N, editor. WHO classification of tumors of central nervous system. 4 th ed. Lyon: IARC; 2007. p. 176-7.   Back to cited text no. 4
5.Somerset HL, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK, Rubinstein D, Breeze RE. Osteochondroma of the convexity: Pathologic-neuroimaging correlates of a lesion that mimics high-grade meningioma. J Neurooncol 2010;98:421-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Ito U, Hashimoto K, Inaba Y. Osteochondroma of the posterior clinoid process. Report of a case with special reference to its histogenesis. Acta Neuropathol 1974;27:329-35.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]

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