Giant cell tumor of the sacrum.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Giant cell tumor (GCT) is a locally highly aggressive tumor of bone comprising 5 to 10% of all benign bone tumors. The sacrum is the third most common site of involvement. Patients with sacral GCTs present with localized pain in the lower back that may radiate to one or both lower limbs. Vague abdominal complaints and bowel and bladder symptoms may also be present. Neuroimaging workup should include advanced modalities, preferably magnetic resonance imaging, prior to obtaining a biopsy specimen. Giant cell tumor has a 1 to 5% rate of metastasizing to the lung and may convert to a fulminate malignant variant, which has a very poor prognosis. The standard treatment for GCT is curettage combined with adjuvant bone grafting or cement-augmented stabilization. In appropriately selected cases, sacral resection is a valuable procedure to effect local tumor control and overall survival. Embolization may also prove palliative and/or curative in cases in which the tumor is unresectable or refractory to treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNeurosurgical Focus
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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