Sunburst appearance (bone)

Sunburst or sunray appearance describes two separate findings in the bone: a periosteal reaction and a trabeculation pattern. It should not be confused with the sunburst sign of meningioma vascularity. 

Sunburst periosteal reaction reflects aggressive periostitis. 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 fibers 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).

Sunburst or honeycomb trabeculation refers to the typical appearance of an intraosseous hemangioma (typically a low-flow vascular malformation) in which thickened trabeculae adjacent to abnormal vascular channels converge on a central area 4.

See also

Inspired signs

Article information

rID: 6634
Section: Gamuts, Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Honeycomb (bone)
  • Sunray appearance (bone)
  • Sunburst periosteal reaction

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: sunburst photograph
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  • Figure 2: types of periosteal reactions
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  • Case 1: osteosarcoma - T2 FS
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6
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  • Case 7
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  • Case 8: skull vault hemangioma
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  • Case 9: sphenoid wing hemangioma
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