Journal of Cytology
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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-80
Cytological diagnosis of chondromyxoid fibroma

1 Department of Pathology, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubballi, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Orthopedics, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubballi, Karnataka, India

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Date of Submission13-Jul-2021
Date of Decision25-Sep-2021
Date of Acceptance14-Oct-2021
Date of Web Publication01-Jun-2022

How to cite this article:
Reddy P, Choukimath S M, Hosangadi A A, Nishath P V. Cytological diagnosis of chondromyxoid fibroma. J Cytol 2022;39:78-80

How to cite this URL:
Reddy P, Choukimath S M, Hosangadi A A, Nishath P V. Cytological diagnosis of chondromyxoid fibroma. J Cytol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 8];39:78-80. Available from:

   Case History Top

A 19-year-old young male of average built presented to the outpatient department with complaints of swelling over the left ankle for the past 3 years, associated with an increase in size of the swelling in the last 1 year. There was no significant past medical history or any history of trauma. Clinical diagnosis was giant cell tumor of bone.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed well-defined cortical-based lesion measuring 5.4 × 3.7 cm, which was hypointense on T1 and hyperintense on T2/Stir sequences seen in distal tibial metaphysis involving the lateral cortex with a narrow zone of transition. Contrast study showed heterogenous enhancement. Overlying cortex was thinned out with breach at some places [Figure 1]. FNAC was done and smears were prepared. Wet fixed smears were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), and air-dried smears were stained with Wright's stain.
Figure 1: T2-hypointense spindle-shaped mass involving metaphysis of tibia

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On cytological examination, the stained smears were cellular with abundant chondromyxoid background. The cells were of variable sizes and shapes; some of them were round to ovoid cells having moderate amount of cytoplasm, benign-appearing nuclei, and bland chromatin. Stellate and spindle-shaped cells were seen singly and in aggregates, along with osteoclastic giant cells [Figure 2]a, [Figure 2]b. The overall cytological picture correlating with clinical and radiological details favored the diagnosis of CMF.

A preoperative diagnosis of CMF helped to give treatment as curettage combined with bone grafting. The sample was collected and sections were prepared for histopathologic examination.
Figure 2: (a) Smear showing spindle-shaped cells with osteoclastic giant cells (H&E, 10×). (b) Smear showing spindle-shaped cells embedded in a myxoid matrix (H&E, 40×). (c) Section showing myxochondroid appearance along with fibrocollagenous tissue and osteoclastic giant cells (H&E, 10×) H&E = hematoxylin and eosin

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Section studied showed hypocellular lobules of myxochondroid appearance separated by cellular tissue composed of spindle cells arranged in interlacing bundles; the cells had basophilic spindled nuclei and moderate amount of cytoplasm. Background showed fibrocollagenous tissue and osteoclastic giant cells [Figure 2]c. No mitoses, necrosis, or calcifications were seen. The findings were consistent with the diagnosis of CMF.

   Discussion Top

CMF is a very rare benign chondroid neoplasm. It is usually an intramedullary eccentric lesion located in the metaphyseal region of the long bones surrounding the knee, but it can also be seen with relative frequency in other long bones, pelvis, ribs, and small foot bones.[1] It usually presents in patients during their second and third decades and has a slightly higher incidence in males. Patients usually complain of a slow-growing, painful swelling.

The tumor is considered as a physeal plate remnant and may involve the epiphysis, diaphysis, or both along with its metaphyseal origin. It may cause cortical expansion and destruction, but consistently respects the periosteal boundary. CMF is one such tumor that is characterized by incomplete cartilage differentiation.[1] The helpful features are the peripheral intermediate signal band and central hyperintense signal on T2-weig hted images, generally corresponding to the peripheral nodular enhancement, and a central non-enhancing portion on contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images.[2]

Walke et al.[3] reported two cases of CMF of lower end of femur and upper end of tibia, and Siddiqui et al.[4] reported a similar case in fourth metatarsal head of an 18-year-old boy. Both studies revealed background showing chondroid and myxoid elements. The cellular elements comprised spindle cells, stellate cells, chondroblasts, and few osteoclastic giant cells. Diagnosis in all the above cases was confirmed on histopathologic examination after resection of the tumor.

Bergman et al.[5] reported four cases of CMF in the metaphyseal region of tibia, fibula, humerus, and ischium. The cytological finding and usefulness of fine needle aspiration biopsy in the diagnosis of CMF are emphasized.

Our case had similar cytological findings, but chondroblastoma had to be ruled out.

Chondroblastoma is characteristically a well-defined, epiphyseal lesion with sclerotic rim and matrix calcification, but CMF is a metaphyseal lesion.[3] On cytological examination, chondroblastoma contains a more uniform population of monon uclear cells (chondroblasts) with round to ovoid nuclei and nuclear grooves compared with a more polymorphous population of stellate, ovoid, and spindle cells found in CMF. Chondromyxoid matrix is also more commonly found in CMF compared with cell-rich chondroblastoma. Nevertheless, there can be considerable overlapping of cytomorphologic features, which may make it difficult to distinguish between these two entities. CMF can also be mistaken for chondrosarcoma on cytology, especially the myxoid variant, due to the presence of chondroid and myxoid matrix in the background. Chondrosarcoma characteristically shows fragments of hyaline cartilage and cells sitting in the lacuna. The individual cells can be uninucleate or binucleate, showing nuclear pleomorphism and frequent mitosis [Table 1].[3]
Table 1: Differential diagnosis

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The histopathologic picture of CMF is characteristic with lobular arrangement of myxoid and chondroid tissue surrounded by zones of hypercellular fibrous tissue.

A preoperative diagnosis of CMF was very important, so as to avoid radical surgical procedures. The ideal treatment is curettage combined with bone grafting.

Immunohistochemical analysis is generally not useful in distinguishing CMF from other entities; however, recent studies have demonstrated that the chromosomal abnormality [inv (6) (p25q13) pericentromeric inversion] is a useful marker for CMF.[6]

Although CMF is an unusual bone tumor, the cytological features are distinctive enough to make a diagnosis after clinico-radiological correlation.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Goyal NB, Shah G, Patil S, Ghodke A. Chondromyxoid Fibroma of Humerus–A rare case report. Int J Surg Cases 2015;1:16-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kim HS, Jee WH, Ryu KN, Cho KH, Shu JS, Choi YS, et al. MRI of chondromyxoid fibroma. Acta Radiol 2011;52:875-80.  Back to cited text no. 2
Walke VA, Nayak SP, Munshi MM, Bobhate SK. Cytodiagnosis of chondromyxoid fibroma. J Cytol 2010;27:96-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Siddiqui B, Faridi S, Faizan M, Sherwani RK. Cytodiagnosis of ChondromyxoidFibroma of the metatarsal head: A case report. Iran J Pathol 2016;11:272-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
Bergman S, Madden CR, Geisinger KR. Fineneedle aspiration biopsy of chondromyxoid fibroma: An investigation of four cases. Am J Clin Pathol 2009;132:740-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
6. Granter SR, Renshaw AA, Kozakewich HP, Fletcher JA. The pericentromeric inversion, inv (6) (p25q13), is a novel diagnostic marker in chondromyxoid fibroma. Mod Pathol 1998;11:1071-4.  Back to cited text no. 6

Correspondence Address:
Dr. P V Nishath
Department of Pathology, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubballi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joc.joc_132_21

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