Fibrous dysplasia imitating malignancy

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2018 Aug;46(8):1313-1319. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2018.05.019. Epub 2018 May 12.


Fibrous dysplasia is a benign bone disease, presenting as monostotic or polyostotic lesions, or as part of a syndrome (McCune-Albright/Mazabraud). Its clinical course shows a variegated picture and the progression of its growth is unpredictable. In the workup of 39 fibrous dysplasia cases in the cranio-facial area, four cases presented fast growth tendencies, of which two patients with McCune-Albright syndrome showed malignant-like rapid growth. This local aggressive form is extremely rare, and the concept of this issue has not been clearly defined. With regard to the speed of growth a volumetric-time analysis in one of our cases demonstrated a 74 days tumor doubling rate with an exponential growth curve. According to the literature the aggressive form presented extra-cranially mainly at an adult age, whereas its appearance in our cranio-facial patient collective was much younger. Distinguishing nonmalignant and malignant aggressive forms is difficult and highly inconsistent in the literature. We therefore implemented a quantitative growth measure analysis to define aggressive forms based on progression and speed of growth and impartial of type of FD, localization or functional incapacity. Due to our study findings and literature review we state a prevalence of an aggressive form might be possibly about 5 %.

Keywords: Aggressive growth; Fibrous dysplasia; Malignancy; McCune-Albright; Polyostotic; Tumor.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniofacial Fibrous Dysplasia / diagnosis*
  • Craniofacial Fibrous Dysplasia / pathology
  • Craniofacial Fibrous Dysplasia / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Facial Bones / pathology
  • Facial Bones / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull / pathology
  • Skull / surgery
  • Skull Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skull Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skull Neoplasms / surgery
  • Young Adult