Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 121–125 | Cite as

MR appearance of skeletal neoplasms following cryotherapy

  • Michael L. Richardson
  • Lawrence R. Lough
  • William P. Shuman
  • Gordon D. Lazerte
  • Ernest U. Conrad


Cryotherapy is an increasingly popular mode of therapy adjunctive to surgical curettage in the treatment of certain skeletal neoplasms, such as giant cell tumors or chondrosarcomas. The magnetic resonance (MR) findings following cryotherapy have not been previously reported. We reviewed the MR findings in seven patients with skeletal neoplasms following curettage and cryotherapy. In six cases we found a zone of varying thickness extending beyond the surgical margins, corresponding to an area of cryoinjury to medullary bone. This zone displayed low signal intensity on T1-weighted images and high signal intensity on T2-weighted images, consistent with the presence of marrow edema. This zone of edema almost certainly reflects underlying thermal osteonecrosis. This zone may vary in size and intensity over time as the area of cryoinjury evolves or resolves. MR is currently the imaging procedure of choice for follow-up of most musculoskeletal neoplasms. Knowledge of the MR findings following cryotherapy should help prevent confusion during the interpretation of follow-up MR examinations.

Key words

Magnetic resonance imaging Neoplasms Musculoskeletal neoplasms Cryotherapy Chondrosarcoma Giant cell tumor of bone 


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Copyright information

© International Skeletal Society 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. Richardson
    • 1
  • Lawrence R. Lough
    • 2
  • William P. Shuman
    • 3
  • Gordon D. Lazerte
    • 4
  • Ernest U. Conrad
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Radiology SB05University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Pitts Radiological AssociatesColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyMedical Center Hospital of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pathology RC-72University of Washington, Medical Center Hospital of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  5. 5.Department of Orthopedic Surgery RK-10University of Washington, Medical Center Hospital of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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