Notochordal Tumors

Surg Pathol Clin. 2021 Dec;14(4):619-643. doi: 10.1016/j.path.2021.06.006. Epub 2021 Jul 28.


This review provides an overview of the spectrum of tumors showing notochordal differentiation. This spectrum encompasses benign entities that are mostly discovered incidentally on imaging, reported as benign notochordal cell tumor, usually not requiring surgical intervention; slowly growing and histologically low-grade tumors referred to as conventional chordoma but associated with a significant metastatic potential and mortality; and more aggressive disease represented by histologically higher-grade tumors including dedifferentiated chordoma, a high-grade biphasic tumor characterized by a conventional chordoma juxtaposed to a high-grade sarcoma, usually with a spindle or pleomorphic cell morphology, and associated with a poor prognosis and poorly differentiated chordoma.

Keywords: Base of skull; Bone; Brachyury; Chordoma; Notochordal tumors; Spine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Neoplasms*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chordoma* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms*