An Unusual Cause of Spinal Cord Myelopathy

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CP Ding, J George, K Jayarani, P Jayalakshmi

Hong Kong J Radiol 2009;11:179-82

Brown tumour (osteitis fibrosa cystica) occurring in the spine causing myelopathy is rare. This report is of a man with brown tumour of the spine, who presented with sudden backache and progressive lower limb weakness leading to a preliminary diagnosis of metastasis. He had been receiving haemodialysis for endstage renal failure for the previous 6 years. T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging of the spine showed a hypointense mass in the imaging sequence rather than a hyperintense mass, which is usually seen with metastasis. Histology confirmed the diagnosis of brown tumour. The presence of T2 hypointensity within the vertebral body, which was due to fibrous tissue and haemosiderin depositions, provided a clue to the diagnosis of brown tumour.