Case 4 -
Arkansas Children's Hospital
Little Rock, AR
Click on each slide thumbnail image for an enlarged view
A seven year-old girl noted increasing pain and discomfort in her left ankle. A radiograph revealed a
well-defined, cystic lesion of the talus.
A discrete fibro-osseous lesion permeates the bony cortex. The lesion contains a mixture of bony
spicules and cementum-like bodies. The bony spicules have curvilinear outlines and comprise woven and
lamellar bone. Osteoblasts line the spicules. The cementum-like bodies have irregular to globular
outlines and contain a slightly refractive, basophilic material. Some form psammomatoid bodies. Bundles
of parallel and whorled fibroblasts form a fibro-collagenous stroma between the bony material. There is
no evidence of significant atypia or mitotic activity.
Case 4 - Figure 1 - A fibro-osseous lesion contains abundant, refractile, cementum-like bodies ("cementicles") enmeshed within a bland, fibroblastic stroma.
Case 4 - Figure 2 - Osteoblasts rim a bony spicule within the fibro-osseous lesion.
Adamantinoma of long bones
In current bone tumor classification, ossifying fibroma does not exist outside of the jaw. The most
recent WHO classification of bone tumors contains no mention of ossifying fibroma  . The lesion once
known as ossifying fibroma of long bone has been replaced by osteofibrous dysplasia, a tumor that arises
almost exclusively in the tibia and fibula and predominately affects children up to the age of 15 years  .
Ossifying fibroma still exists as a jaw tumor that arises with the maxilla and mandible. A pediatric
form of this tumor has a predilection for the orbit and shows aggressive clinical features, with
recurrences occurring frequently in absence of complete surgical excision
One most frequently considers fibrous dysplasia when dealing when dealing with fibro-osseous lesions
of bone. Fibrous dysplasia occurs in all bones, particularly the jaw and long bones, and affects all
ages  . Monostotic forms of this disease arise six times more commonly than polyostotic forms. The
latter are associated with the McCune-Albright syndrome, which is also characterized by precocious
puberty, café-au-lait spots, and endocrine tumors  . Aggressive surgery is generally not indicated in
fibrous dysplasia, which traditionally has been considered to be a developmental lesion instead of a
Fibrous dysplasia and ossifying fibroma are classically separated by the absence of an osteoid seam
from the curvilinear bony spicules that characterize both lesions. Woven bone typically forms fibrous
dysplasia spicules, whereas lamellar bone constitutes the spicules of ossifying fibroma. These features
are easily visualized with polarized microscopy. Otherwise the two lesions are quite similar at the
histologic level, and there is considerable clinical overlap. Some authors claim that these diagnoses
represent a histologic continuum of the same entity  .
Both fibrous dysplasia and ossifying fibroma may contain cementum-like bodies  . In ossifying
fibroma, the content of these structures is variable. As a result, the terms "cemento-ossifying fibroma"
and "cementifying fibroma" have arisen, but these lesions are now considered to be forms of ossifying
fibroma  . Normal cementum comprises the material sheathing the roots of teeth. Biologically,
cementum appears to be more akin to bone than teeth  .
Because ossifying fibroma has been banished to the jaw and orbit and fibrous dysplasia may contain
cementum, many would consider the present case to be an example to the latter lesion. However, new
cytogenetic evidence indicates that these two lesions differ at a genetic level. Sawyer et al. has
demonstrated a unique recurring translocation in three juvenile ossifying fibromas of the orbit, the
t(X;2)(q26;q33)  . To date the genes forming breakpoint fusions of this aberration have not been
described. On the other hand, all cytogenetic studies of fibrous dysplasia to date have failed to
demonstrate this translocation. Many show no abnormality, although the occasional occurrence of
chromosomal deletions, gains, and losses in fibrous dysplasia indicates that these lesions may be clonal
. GNAS1 mutations have been demonstrated in fibrous
dysplasia but are not seen at the karyotypic level  . A constitutional mutation of this gene would be
lethal, so these abnormalities are probably mosaic in nature. Recurring gains of chromosome 7, 8, 12,
and 21 appear to characterize osteofibrous dysplasia
The current case contains a complex translocation involving X, 2, 7, and 12, with breakpoints located
at the t(X;2) found in juvenile ossifying fibroma. These cytogenetic features, combined with the
histologic features of ossifying fibroma of jaw, i.e. cementum-like bodies and ossicles lined by a
osteoblastic seam, and the unusual location of this lesion, that this case if more consistent with
ossifying fibroma than fibrous dysplasia or osteofibrous dysplasia. We should thus reconsider the
possibility that ossifying fibroma may occur as a lesion of long bones, instead of purely the jaws.
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