An Enchondroma is a cartilage cyst found in the bone marrow. Typically, enchondroma is discovered on a X-ray scan. Enchondromas have a characteristic appearance on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as well. They have also been reported to cause increased uptake on PET examination.
Because an individual with an enchondroma has few symptoms, diagnosis is sometimes made during a routine physical examination, or if the presence of the tumor leads to a fracture. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for enchondroma may include the following:
x-ray – On plain film, an enchondroma may be found in any bone formed from cartilage. They are lytic lesions that usually contain calcified chondroid matrix, except in the phalanges. They may be central, eccentric, expansile or nonexpansile.
Differentiating an enchondroma from a bone infarct on plain film may be difficult. Generally, an enchondroma commonly causes endosteal scalloping while an infarct will not. An infarct usually has a well defined, sclerotic serpiginous border, while an enchondroma will not. When differentiating an enchondroma from a chondrosarcoma, the radiographic image may be equivocal; however, periostitis is not usually seen with an uncomplicated enchondroma.
radionuclide bone scan – a nuclear imaging method to evaluate any degenerative and/or arthritic changes in the joints; to detect bone diseases and tumors; to determine the cause of bone pain or inflammation. This test is to rule out any infection or fractures.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. This test is done to rule out any associated abnormalities of the spinal cord and nerves.
computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) – a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
MRI T1 showing an enchondroma in the femur.
X-ray showing an enchondroma in the femur.
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