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Fibrous Dysplasia Associated with Cortical Bony Destruction



Fibrous dysplasia is a benign disorder of bone that can cause cortical thinning as well as bony expansion. Full-thickness cortical bony destruction, however, typically characterizes more aggressive or malignant lesions of bone. We present three cases of fibrous dysplasia that illustrate this more aggressive and potentially confusing feature.

Materials and methods

The findings on radiography and cross-sectional imaging studies are reviewed in three surgically proven cases of fibrous dysplasia that exhibited full-thickness cortical bony destruction.


Well-defined cortical perforations without associated periosteal reaction were clearly seen on CT. This finding was suspected on plain radiography in only one of the three cases. A small associated soft tissue mass was detected by MR imaging in this case. Many cortical perforations were seen in the one case of polyostotic fibrous dysplasia.


Full-thickness cortical bony destruction can be seen in fibrous dysplasia. This finding, which may only be evident on cross-sectional imaging studies, should not by itself alter a diagnostic impression of fibrous dysplasia supported by other radiographic and clinical features.

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