Soft tissue
Fibroblastic / myofibroblastic
Nuchal fibrocartilaginous pseudotumor

Topic Completed: 1 April 2013

Minor changes: 15 September 2020

Copyright: 2002-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Nuchal fibrocartilaginous pseudotumor

Ricardo M. Mendoza, M.D., M.S., C.T. (ASCP)
Jerad M. Gardner, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 444
Page views in 2020 to date: 395
Cite this page: Mendoza R. Nuchal fibrocartilaginous pseudotumor . website. Accessed November 26th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Fibrocartilaginous metaplasia of nuchal ligament overlying midline of lower cervical vertebrae (Am J Surg Pathol 1997;21:836)
  • Not a distinct WHO diagnosis
  • May be identical to nuchal type fibroma
  • Rare, predominantly young adults and early middle age
  • Nuchal ligament
Clinical features
  • 1 - 3 cm nodule in deep soft tissue posterior to spinous process of cervical vertebrae involving nuchal ligament (Mod Pathol 1999;12:663)
Radiology description
Case reports
  • Simple excision, does not recur
Gross description
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Poorly defined, moderately cellular fibrocartilaginous nodules, no atypia, no mitotic activity
Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
Differential diagnosis
  • Calcifying aponeurotic fibroma: distal extremities, has focal cartilage component surrounded by cellular fibromatosis-like areas
  • Myositis ossificans: usually > 4 cm, contains cellular regions of callus-type fibrocartilage, reactive spindle cell component, woven bone in various maturation stages (Am J Surg Pathol 1997;21:836); usually in muscle, not nuchal ligament
  • Nuchal fibroma: not confined to midline, no ligament association, typically lacks cartilaginous component, occurs superficial to fascia
  • Soft tissue chondroma: well-defined cellular hyaline cartilage lobules associated with tendon or tendon sheath, usually hands or feet, not neck
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