Benign osteoblastoma of the occipital bone: case report and literature review

Neuropathology. 2006 Apr;26(2):141-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1789.2006.00643.x.


We present a case of benign osteoblastoma of the occipital bone. Benign osteoblastoma is an uncommon primary bone tumor, which usually involves the vertebrae and the long bones. This tumor rarely develops in the calvaria, showing a preference for the temporal and frontal bones when it does. To the best of our knowledge, this case is only the eighth reported case of benign osteoblastoma confined to the occipital bone. A 20-year-old male presented with a mild tender mass lesion of the occipital area, just below the lambda. Plain X-ray films and CT scans demonstrated an osteolytic mass surrounded by the sclerotic rim within the diploic space. MRI proved to be effective for the evaluation of the intracranial and intraosseous extensions of the tumor. However, it was very difficult to formulate a differential diagnosis against other osteoblastic tumors, or osteoid osteoma, in view of its radiological appearance. The final diagnosis was obtained by careful consideration of the histopathological characteristics of the tumor combined with its clinical and radiological features. Although generally regarded as benign, a complete resection is preferred over conventional curettage as this can guard against possible recurrence and malignant transformation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Craniotomy
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Occipital Bone / pathology*
  • Occipital Bone / surgery
  • Osteoblastoma / pathology*
  • Osteoblastoma / surgery
  • Skull Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skull Neoplasms / surgery
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed