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Ultrasound of Primary Aneurysmal Bone Cyst

DOI: 10.1155/2014/101069

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Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABC) are rare, benign, expansile lesions of bone often found in the metaphyses of long bones in pediatric and young adult population. Multiple fluid levels are typically seen on imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT). We describe a case of a primary ABC in the fibula of a 34-year-old man diagnosed on ultrasound with a mobile fluid level demonstrated sonographically. 1. Introduction Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABC) are rare, benign, expansile lesions of bone most commonly found in the metaphyses of long bones in pediatric and young adult population. The lesion is characterized by blood filled spaces separated by fibrous septa that may contain osteoclast-like giant cells. It can be a primary lesion or arise adjacent to other benign or malignant osseous processes. Imaging with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) typically shows multiple fluid levels. Bone lesions are not typically evaluated with ultrasound as the sound waves are not able to penetrate the cortex. If however the cortex is thinned, expanded, or disrupted, ultrasound can identify primary and secondary bone tumors. Ultrasound is often used as a first imaging study for evaluation of palpable superficial masses. Recognition of a lesion to be originating from the bone rather than soft tissue and identification of mobile fluid/fluid levels can suggest the diagnosis of aneurysmal bone cyst and direct the patient to the appropriate treatment. Little has been written in the literature about the sonographic appearance of ABC. We describe the ultrasound, radiographic, and MRI appearance of an aneurysmal bone cyst in the distal fibula. 2. Case Report A 34-year-old man presented to his family practitioner with a two-month history of swelling and discomfort in the left lateral lower leg just above his ankle. There was no preceding history of trauma. Physical examination revealed soft tissue fullness at the junction of the proximal two-thirds and distal one-third of the left fibula which was painful to touch. The patient was sent for an ultrasound for evaluation and possibly to aspirate a presumed ganglion cyst. Ultrasound was performed using a General Electric Healthcare Logiq E9 linear ML 6–15?MHz transducer (GE Healthcare Wauwatosa, WI). A cortically based lesion was noted arising from the anterolateral cortex of the fibula with elevation of the periosteum and a thin rim of echogenicity surrounding the mass, presumed to be a thin shell of bone (Figure 1) which appeared intact without adjacent soft tissue mass. Two fluid-fluid


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