The many faces of pulmonary metastases of osteosarcoma: Retrospective study on 283 lesions submitted to surgery

Federica Ciccarese, Alberto Bazzocchi, Rosanna Ciminari, Alberto Righi, Michele Rocca, Eugenio Rimondi, Piero Picci, Maria L. Bacchi Reggiani, Ugo Albisinni, Maurizio Zompatori, Daniel Vanel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective CT is the recommended technique for the detection of pulmonary metastases in patients affected by osteosarcoma, though claimed to show several limits compared to manual palpation. We retrospectively analyzed CT features of suspected lesions submitted to surgery to address its current accuracy and to investigate criteria for predicting histology. Materials and methods CT scans of 70 patients submitted to thoracotomy between 2007-2013 were reviewed. Overall, 123 thoracotomies were performed and 283 lesions seen on CT were resected. Shape, size, presence and type of calcification, evolution of each lesion were analyzed. Number and histology of nodules detected at thoracotomy were recorded and compared to CT data. Results 234/283 - 82.7% Lesions were metastases; 143 - 61.1% were calcified; most metastases were nodular (201/234 - 85.9%), but in 33/234 - 14.1% other findings were detected (striae, consolidations, pleural plaques/masses, cavitations, ground glass opacities, irregular shapes, halo sign). Malignant lesions were more frequently calcified, larger, with progression over time - p <0.0001. Manual palpation identified 314 lesions, 248 metastatic - 79.0%: CT missed 31/314 - 9.9% lesions, whereof 14/31 - 45.2% were metastases. Conclusions Though most lesions are nodular and calcified, up to 40% are not calcified and atypical findings are not uncommon (14.1%). The identification of the atypical radiological presentation of metastases could be the key for improving CT accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2679-2685
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • CT
  • Metastasectomy
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Pulmonary metastases
  • Thoracotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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