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Ossifying fibroma

Dr Frank Gaillard et al.

Ossifying fibromas (OF), also commonly referred to as osteofibrous dysplasia (OFD), especially when in the extremities, are benign bone lesions that should be differentiated from non ossifying fibromas and fibrous dysplasia.


These lesions are most frequently encountered in young children (often under 10 years of age).


Histologically, they comprise haphazardly distributed lamellated bony spicules on a background of fibrous stroma. Despite being benign they can be locally aggressive. Immunohistochemical staining of lesions show keratin positive cells in majority of the cases.

Common locations
  • lower extremity
    • tibia: commonest site 5 (90% of the time); there is a predilection for the anterior tibial cortex
    • femur: occurs in a diaphysial location
  • mandible and maxilla: these are examples of cementum-poor cemento-ossifying fibromas 2 (see WHO classification scheme for odontogenic tumours)
  • sinonasal: expansile lesions with peripheral ossification and central lucency

Radiographic features

Plain film and CT
  • seen as a well-circumscribed lesion
  • demonstrates evidence of intracortical osteolysis with characteristic sclerotic band (osteoblastic rimming)
  • moderate cortical expansion
  • homogeneous lesion matrix

Reported signal characteristics include

  • T1: low signal
  • T2: iso-high signal
  • T1 C+ (Gd): typically shows enhancement

Treatment and prognosis

Tends to regress over time. For locally aggressive lesions, surgical resection is often curative although recurrence has been reported.


Differential diagnosis

Imaging differential considerations include

Related articles

Bone tumours

The differential diagnosis for bone tumours is dependent on the age of the patient, with a very different set of differentials for the paediatric patient.

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