Head and Neck Pathology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 261–268 | Cite as

Chordoma of the Head and Neck: A Review

  • Jason K. Wasserman
  • Denis Gravel
  • Bibianna Purgina
Invited Review


Chordoma is a rare malignant bone tumor that can arise anywhere along the central neural axis and many involve head and neck sites, most commonly the skull base. The relative rarity of these tumors, combined with the complex anatomy of the head and neck, pose diagnostic challenges to pathologists. This article describes the pertinent clinical, pathologic, and molecular features of chordomas and describes how these features can be used to aid in formulating a differential diagnosis. Emphasis is placed on key diagnostic pitfalls and the importance of incorporating immunohistochemical information into the diagnosis.


Chordoma Chondrosarcoma Skull base Brachyury Head and neck 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Anatomical Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The Ottawa HospitalUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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