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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1999 Oct;20(9):1723-6.

Giant cell tumor of the thoracic spine simulating mediastinal neoplasm.

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Department of Radiology and Radiation Oncology, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.


A case of giant cell tumor of the thoracic spine simulating mediastinal neoplasm was identified on plain films, CT scans, MR images, and with scintigraphy. CT showed a hypervascular soft-tissue mass with shell-like calcification in the right upper mediastinum. MR imaging showed a collapse of the T1 vertebral body and a mass extending to the mediastinum. The mass had a low signal on T1-weighted MR images and a predominantly high signal on T2-weighted images with heterogeneity. Technetium-99m methylene diphosphonate bone scintigraphy showed intense uptake in both the T1 and marginal parts of the mediastinal mass. There was no accumulation of gallium-67 citrate, but 18-fluorine fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography showed marked uptake. The variation in these imaging findings played an important role in the differential diagnosis of this uncommon mediastinal mass.

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