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Magnetic resonance imaging of focal fibrocartilaginous dysplasia — findings derived from a three-dimensional gradient echo sequence



Focal fibrocartilaginous dysplasia is a rare benign bone lesion of young children that causes deformities in the extremities. However, the pathogenesis and treatments have not been defined and the MR manifestations have been less well described.


To describe the MR manifestations of focal fibrocartilaginous dysplasia, especially on the T1-W three-dimensional (3-D) volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) sequence.

Materials and methods

In this retrospective study, the authors reviewed the MR and radiographic images, pathology and medical records of 21 cases of focal fibrocartilaginous dysplasia. All cases were evaluated by spin-echo MRI sequence. Among them, 17 cases were evaluated by T1-W 3-D VIBE sequence.


The cohort consisted of 13 boys and 8 girls ages 4–75 months. In 14 cases, focal fibrocartilaginous dysplasia was located in the tibia, 3 in the femur and 4 in the ulna. MRI 3-D VIBE sequence findings showed all cases had hypointense fiber band structures in the bone defect areas. The fibrous bands in the lower extremities ended in the epiphysis or epiphyseal plate, and in the upper extremities the epiphysis or carpal bone. Ten cases had hyperintensities that might represent cartilage composition. Four cases had cartilage signals that were continuous with the epiphyseal cartilage. MR spin-echo sequence findings showed that bone marrow edema of the adjacent joint was observed in eight cases, enlargement of the epiphyseal plate in three cases and medial meniscus injury in five cases.


The 3-D VIBE sequence reveals useful details in focal fibrocartilaginous dysplasia.

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Thanks are due to Luxin Lou, Xinmin Li, Lihua Gong, Wei Zhang, Dafei Zhou, Xiaoguang Cheng, Kebin Cheng and Aihong Yu for assistance with the study and valuable discussion.

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Correspondence to Aihong Yu.

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Lou, L., Li, X., Gong, L. et al. Magnetic resonance imaging of focal fibrocartilaginous dysplasia — findings derived from a three-dimensional gradient echo sequence. Pediatr Radiol (2021).

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  • Bone
  • Children
  • Deformity
  • Extremities
  • Focal fibrocartilaginous dysplasia
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination