Vascular tumors of bone

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 27 October 2016, last major update June 2005

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed search: hemangioma [title] bone

Related topics: Epithelioid hemangioma
Cite this page: Hemangioma. website. Accessed October 20th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Most common vascular tumor of bone
  • Identified in vertebrae in 12% of autopsies, 34% are multiple
  • Usually incidental finding; ages 20 - 50 years, no definite gender preference
  • May actually be vascular malformations, not neoplasms
  • Multiple bony hemangiomas more common in children, associated with cutaneous, soft tissue or visceral hemangiomas
  • Sacral hemangiomas in infants associated with congenital anomalies
  • Sites for clinically significant hemangiomas: skull, vertebrae (causing spinal cord compression), jaw; occur in marrow
Radiology description
  • Sunburst appearance due to trabecular bone, particularly in spine and skull
  • Nonspecific in long bones
Gross description
  • Elevation of periosteum
  • Currant jelly cut surface
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Thick walled lattice-like pattern of vessels
  • Either capillary or cavernous
  • Often with reactive new bone formation
  • No endothelial atypia
Differential diagnosis