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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 284-287

Giant cell tumor of the spine masquerading as spinal tuberculosis: An uncommon entity

1 Department of Pathology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Radiology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Karuna Jha
Department of Pathology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Dilshad Garden, New Delhi - 110 095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.194136

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The spine is an infrequent location for giant cell tumor (GCT). The incidence of GCT in the spine, above sacrum, is only 1%-1.5%. We report a case of recurrent GCT of the lumbar spine which was clinically diagnosed as spinal tuberculosis. A 24-year-old female presented with complaints of pain in the right leg during the last trimester of her pregnancy. One month later, she complained of retention of urine along with weakness in both the lower limbs. X-ray showed destruction and sclerosis of L3 vertebra with involvement of the adjacent discs. The magnetic resonance imaging showed severe compression and collapse of L3 vertebra with diffusely altered marrow signals and an associated expansible lobulated soft tissue component. With a provisional clinical diagnosis of spinal tuberculosis, the mass was decompressed and sent for histopathological examination, where it was diagnosed as GCT of the spine. Follow-up details were not available. However, the patient presented with similar complaints 6 months later. A near total resection of the tumor was done with fixation of the spine. Histopathology confirmed it as GCT. Although rare, still GCT needs to be considered in the differential diagnosis of spinal lesions so that specific treatment modality may be provided to the patient.

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