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Hibernoma is a benign adipose tumour that contains foetal brown fat cells. We report a case of hibernoma arising in the left ischium of a 65-year-old female with a past history of ovarian carcinoma. The patient presented with a relatively short history of left sacral/hip pain. Radiologically, the lesion, which was large (5 cm) and sclerotic, had been stable for a number of years. Histologically, it was composed mainly of plump cells with foamy, multivacuolated cytoplasm. These cells showed no reaction for epithelial, melanoma or leucocyte markers but expressed FABP4/aP2 and S100, indicating that they were brown fat cells. There was no mitotic activity or nuclear pleomorphism and the lesion was diagnosed as a benign intraosseous hibernoma (IOH). IOH is a recently identified benign adipocytic lesion that presents typically as a sclerotic bone lesion. It has characteristic morphological and immunophenotypic features and should be regarded as a discrete primary bone tumour that needs to be distinguished from metastatic carcinoma/melanoma, chondrosarcoma and metabolic storage diseases containing numerous foamy macrophages.

Original publication




Journal article


Skeletal radiol

Publication Date





1565 - 1569


Adipose tissue, Bone tumour, Hibernoma, Pelvis, Bone Neoplasms, Diagnosis, Differential, Female, Humans, Lipoma, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Rare Diseases, Tomography, X-Ray Computed