Clear cell

Author: David L. Stockman, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 4 April 2016, last major update March 2016

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Chondrosarcoma Clear Cell

Cite this page: Clear cell. website. Accessed June 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Rare; usually third to fourth decades of life, more common in males
  • Epiphyses of long tubular bones
  • Have relatively low grade behavior, with 15% mortality at Mayo Clinic; may undergo dedifferentiation
  • Involves long bones, especially proximal femur and humerus
Clinical features
  • ~16% local recurrence rate
  • ~10% die from disease, may represent misdiagnosed conventional chondrosarcoma with clear cell chondrosarcoma component
  • Inadequate initial treatment results in high rate of local recurrence and metastasis
Radiology description
  • Typically arises in epiphysis or apophysis
  • Well defined, lytic, with punctate radiodensities corresponding to areas of mineralization
  • High signal intensity on T2 weighted images
Radiology images

Head of femur

Femoral neck, by Dr. Mark R. Wick

  • Wide resection, often curative
Gross images

Femoral neck, by Dr. Mark R. Wick

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Lobules of tumor cells with sharply defined borders, clear or ground-glass cytoplasm with vacuoles, central nuclei with occasional prominent nucleoli, numerous osteoclast-type giant cells, often mixed with small trabeculae of reactive bone
  • Any areas with conventional chondrosarcoma should be diagnosed as conventional chondrosarcoma with clear cell chondrosarcoma features and graded appropriately
  • May have secondary aneurysmal bone cyst changes
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on Pathout server:

Delicate powdery to clear cytoplasm

Variably clear cytoplasm

Well differentiated

Contributed by Dr. Mark R. Wick

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Chondroid cells in various stages of differentiation