Osteoclastoma is the alternative name for giant cell tumors of bone. This tumor arises from uninhibited growth of osteoclasts, which are actually macrophages for osseous tissue.
This tumor commonly grows on the epiphyseal end of long bones, including the distal metaphysis. There is a high turnover rate in the epiphyseal ends of long bones.
Tumor classically presents in 20-40 year olds.
The tumor is classified as benign but can actually be locally aggressive. This means it can grow and cause mass effect with symptoms like pain, swelling, and even fractures. Metastasis is rare but more common than other benign bone tumors.
This tumor commonly appears in the knee region (distal femur, proximal tibia).
On X-ray, giant cell tumors are lytic and lucent lesions that can show a classic soap bubble or double bubble appearance.
Spindle shaped cells are characteristic of this tumor on histology.
Giant cell tumors are diagnosed from biopsy, which demonstrates multinucleated giant cells that can have up to hundreds of nuclei.
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