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OBJECTIVE: Primary synovial chondromatosis (PSC) is a rare disorder characterised by cartilage formation in synovium-lined joints, tendon sheaths and bursae. It is thought that PSC cartilage arises from the proliferation of mesenchymal cells, which exhibit cartilaginous metaplasia in subintimal connective tissue. There are reports of transformation of PSC to chondrosarcoma, although the precise incidence and nature of this complication is uncertain. In this study we carried out a retrospective review PSC to determine the incidence of sarcomatous change in this condition, in addition to the clinical, radiological and pathological features that characterise this complication MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed 155 cases of PSC and identified 4 cases (3 in the hip joint; 1 in the elbow joint) of aggressive behaviour and chondrosarcoma-like histology. RESULTS: Radiologically, these cases were all reported as showing features consistent with PSC and aggressive extra-articular soft tissue/bone involvement. Histologically, in addition to typical features of PSC, there was morphological evidence of peri-articular soft tissue and, in 2 cases, bone involvement by an infiltrating cartilaginous tumour. These tumours all behaved as locally aggressive neoplasms and did not give rise to metastasis. CONCLUSION: Our findings show that chondrosarcoma arises infrequently in PSC (approximately 2.5 %), and that this complication occurs most commonly in the hip joint (approximately 11 % of cases of hip PSC). These tumours behaved mainly as low-grade, locally aggressive tumours analogous to atypical cartilaginous tumour of bone/grade 1 chondrosarcoma of bone.

Original publication




Journal article


Skeletal radiol

Publication Date





755 - 762


Chondrosarcoma, Hip, Synovial chondromatosis, Tumour, Adolescent, Adult, Bone Neoplasms, Chondromatosis, Synovial, Chondrosarcoma, Diagnosis, Differential, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Precancerous Conditions, Young Adult