Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 485-500

First online:

Benign bone-forming lesions: osteoma, osteoid osteoma, and osteoblastoma

Clinical, imaging, pathologic, and differential considerations
  • Adam GreenspanAffiliated withDepartments of Radiology and Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, Davis School of MedicineSection of Musculoskeletal Radiology, UC Davis Medical Center

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The benign bone lesions — osteoma, osteoid osteoma, and osteoblastoma — are characterized as bone-forming because tumor cells produce osteoid or mature bone. Osteoma is a slow-growing lesion most commonly seen in the paranasal sinuses and in the calvaria. When it occurs in the long bones, it is invariably juxtacortical and may need to be differentiated from, among others, parosteal osteosarcoma, sessile osteochondroma, and a matured juxtacortical focus of myositis ossificans. Osteoid osteoma and osteoblastoma appear histologically very similar. Their clinical presentations and distribution in the skeleton, however, are distinct: osteoid osteoma is usually accompanied by nocturnal pain promptly relieved by salicylates; osteoblastoma arises predominantly in the axial skeleton, spinal lesions constituting one-third of reported cases. This review focuses on the application of the various imaging modalities in the diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and evaluation of these lesions. Their histopathology also is discussed, and their treatment briefly outlined.

Key words

Bone neoplasms Osteoblastic tumors Benign bone-forming lesions Osteoma Osteoid osteoma Osteoblastoma