Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 45, Issue 11, pp 1565–1569 | Cite as

Intraosseous hibernoma: a rare adipocytic bone tumour

Case Report


Hibernoma is a benign adipose tumour that contains foetal brown fat cells. We report a case of hibernoma arising in the left ischium of a 65-year-old female with a past history of ovarian carcinoma. The patient presented with a relatively short history of left sacral/hip pain. Radiologically, the lesion, which was large (5 cm) and sclerotic, had been stable for a number of years. Histologically, it was composed mainly of plump cells with foamy, multivacuolated cytoplasm. These cells showed no reaction for epithelial, melanoma or leucocyte markers but expressed FABP4/aP2 and S100, indicating that they were brown fat cells. There was no mitotic activity or nuclear pleomorphism and the lesion was diagnosed as a benign intraosseous hibernoma (IOH). IOH is a recently identified benign adipocytic lesion that presents typically as a sclerotic bone lesion. It has characteristic morphological and immunophenotypic features and should be regarded as a discrete primary bone tumour that needs to be distinguished from metastatic carcinoma/melanoma, chondrosarcoma and metabolic storage diseases containing numerous foamy macrophages.


Hibernoma Adipose tissue Bone tumour Pelvis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Informed consent for this study was obtained from the patient. This study was approved by the Central Oxford Research Ethics Committee (C01.070 and C01.071).


MV was an EU-funded Erasmus plus visitor.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Vlychou
    • 1
  • J. Teh
    • 1
  • D. Whitwell
    • 2
  • N. A. Athanasou
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyNuffield Orthopaedic CentreOxfordUK
  2. 2.Orthopaedic SurgeryNuffield Orthopaedic CentreOxfordUK
  3. 3.Department of PathologyNuffield Orthopaedic CentreOxfordUK
  4. 4.Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Nuffield Orthopaedic CentreUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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