The ABCs of Aneurysmal Bone Cysts: Is there a Role for Radiation Therapy?

Author(s) :

Jose Ma. H. Zaldarriaga1, Kenneth C. Sy1, Angela Peña-Camacho1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Republic of the Philippines

Corresponding author: Jose Ma. H. Zaldarriaga, Email:

Published: Volume II, Issue 2, December 2022, 21-26, , , - DOI: 10.53011/JMRO.2022.02.04

Open Access

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December 1, 2022 0 Comments


Aneurysmal bone cyst (ABC) is a rare osteolytic lesion which, though benign, can have devastating effects on the patient’s function and cosmesis. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment; however, for incompletely resected, inoperable, or recurrent ABCs, radiation therapy has been posited to be a feasible therapeutic modality. However, evidence on the possible role of radiation therapy in the management of ABCs remains in its infancy. This short review discusses what is currently known about the pathophysiology, natural history, epidemiology, and clinical presentation of ABCs. This will ultimately lead to a survey of the present literature on radiation therapy as used for ABCs.

Figure 1. CT scan of an 8-year-old male with aneurysmal bone cyst of the left ischium. Coronal view shows a large, expansile, lucent bone lesion in the left inferior pubic ramus and ischium with internal septations. Margins are well-defined and measures approximately 4.5 x 2.9 x 8.3 cm. Image courtesy of Dr. David Cuete.
Figure 2. MRI of a 10-year-old female with aneurysmal bone cyst of the left proximal ulna. Sagittal T2-weighted image shows an expansile lesion in the proximal ulnar metadiaphysis with extension to the epiphysis. The lesion displays multiple cysts with fluid/fluid leveling. Image courtesy of Dr. Ahmed Abdrabou.
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