Soft tissue
Fibroblastic / myofibroblastic tumors
Nuchal fibrocartilaginous pseudotumor

Author: Ricardo M. Mendoza, M.D. (see Authors page)
Editor: Jerad M. Gardner, M.D.

Revised: 29 August 2016, last major update April 2013

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

PubMed Search: Nuchal fibrocartilaginous pseudotumor

Cite this page: Nuchal fibrocartilaginous pseudotumor . website. Accessed October 26th, 2016.
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
Micro Description
  • Poorly defined, moderately cellular fibrocartilaginous nodules, no atypia, no mitotic activity
Micro Images

Images hosted on other servers:

Fibrocartilage surrounded
by disorganized collagen bundles

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