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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
December 2003

Pathology Quiz Case—Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(12):1346. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.12.1345

Aneurysmal bone cyst is an expansive lesion consisting of thin-walled, blood-filled cavities. It affects all age groups, but is most common in the first 2 decades of life, with a median age of 13 years and a slight female preponderance.1 It usually arises in the metaphysis of the long bones, especially the femur, tibia, humerus, and posterior elements of the vertebral bodies. Aneurysmal bone cysts of the maxilla are rare, representing approximately 1% of cases.1 The most common site of ABC in the head and neck is the mandible. Pain and swelling are common presenting symptoms, and trauma appears to be an important factor in the pathogenesis.2 The characteristic radiologic appearance of ABC is that of a lytic, eccentric, expansive mass with well-defined margins. Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography can show fluid-filled spaces separated by septa.3

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