Leontiasis ossea is a largely historical term used to describe a number of conditions that result in the affected patient's face resembling that of a lion. Although it is most frequently associated with craniofacial fibrous dysplasia, it has a broader meaning encompassing other lesions that have similar appearance 1,4.
The distinction is made between true leontiasis ossea (craniofacial fibrous dysplasia) and other conditions having similar external appearance (mimics), however it would be safe to say that as a term it is no longer of clinical use and should be avoided.
In addition to craniofacial fibrous dysplasia the following conditions may mimic leontiasis ossea:
- Paget disease
- tumours of the paranasal sinuses
- syphilitic osteoperiostitis
- uraemia with secondary hyperparathyroidism 2
History and etymology
The famed Virchow first coined the term leontiasis ossea in 1864 3. Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow (1821-1902) was a German pathologist and statesman 5.
- 1. Evans J. Leontiasis ossea; a critical review, with reports of four original cases. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2003;35-B (2): 229-43. Pubmed citation
- 2. Maramattom BV. Leontiasis ossea and post traumatic cervical cord contusion in polyostotic fibrous dysplasia. Head Face Med. 2009;2 (1): 24. doi:10.1186/1746-160X-2-24 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 3. Capon NB. A Case of Leontiasis Ossea (Diffuse Osteitic Form). Arch. Dis. Child. 2011;3 (18): 285-91. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 4. Mulligan M. Classic Radiologic Signs. CRC Press. ISBN:1850706646. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 5. Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow from whonamedit.com, the dictionary of medical eponyms. Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow