Sunburst appearance is a type of periosteal reaction giving the appearance of a sunburst secondary to an aggressive periostitis. It should not be confused with the sunburst sign of meningioma vascularity.
The sunburst appearance occurs when the lesion grows too fast and the periosteum does not have enough time to lay down a new layer and instead the Sharpey's fibres stretch out perpendicular to the bone. It is frequently associated with osteosarcoma but can also occur with other aggressive bony lesions such as an Ewing sarcoma or osteoblastic metastases (e.g. prostate, lung or breast cancer).
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