Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 485–500

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

Clinical, imaging, pathologic, and differential considerations
  • Adam Greenspan

DOI: 10.1007/BF00209095

Cite this article as:
Greenspan, A. Skeletal Radiol. (1993) 22: 485. doi:10.1007/BF00209095


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 neoplasmsOsteoblastic tumorsBenign bone-forming lesionsOsteomaOsteoid osteomaOsteoblastoma

Copyright information

© International Skeletal Society 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Greenspan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Radiology and Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of California, Davis School of MedicineSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Section of Musculoskeletal RadiologyUC Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUC Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA