Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 939–946

Intraosseous hibernoma: characterization of five cases and literature review


    • Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology
  • Geoffrey Watson
    • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • Cristian Gragnaniello
    • Macquarie University Hospital
  • Kevin Seex
    • Macquarie University Hospital
  • John Magnussen
    • Macquarie University Hospital
  • John Earwaker
    • Princess Alexandra Hospital
Scientific Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00256-014-1868-8

Cite this article as:
Bonar, S.F., Watson, G., Gragnaniello, C. et al. Skeletal Radiol (2014) 43: 939. doi:10.1007/s00256-014-1868-8



To describe the imaging and histopathological findings and provide an overview of a recently described and rare cause of bone sclerosis.

Materials and methods

Five cases of intra-osseous hibernoma of bone that presented over the last year. The imaging and histopathology is reviewed.


All cases were identified in asymptomatic middle-aged to elderly adults as incidental findings with bone sclerosis in the axial skeleton. MRI showed lesions that were T1 hypointense to subcutaneous fat and hyperintense to skeletal muscle and one showed contrast enhancement. Glucose avidity was demonstrated on FDGPET in both cases tested and isotope bone scan performed in three cases showed strong positivity in two, but uptake was inconspicuous in one case.


Intra-osseous hibernoma is a rare cause of sclerotic bone lesions, predominating in the axial skeleton of middle-aged and elderly adults. They have a non-aggressive appearance on CT and on MRI are T1 hypointense to subcutaneous fat and hyperintense to skeletal muscle. They are usually T2 hyperintense and may show peripheral contrast enhancement. They may show increased glucose avidity on FDGPET and may or may not be positive on isotope bone scans. We suspect that with ever-increasing use of a variety of imaging techniques, particularly in a setting of staging for malignant disease, more such cases will come to light. This diagnosis should be added to the differential diagnosis of sclerotic bone lesions.


Brown fatHibernomaSclerosisIntraosseous

Copyright information

© ISS 2014