Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Cancer

What are bone islands?

11/05/2008

Question:

Are bone islands common? On ct scans can you tell if it`s a benign bone island or if it`s a bone tumor?

Answer:

Bone islands (enostoses) are common and represent areas of hard cortical bone where one would usually have spongy trabecular bone. They are a normal variant and are typically incidentally found. I have never known one to cause a problem.

CT can be diagnostic but there is often concern about these lesions representing an early blastic (bone-forming) metastasis from breast or prostate cancer. If the patient is without symptoms, observation (follow-up CT) is recommended. If there is significant concern for metastasis, biopsy may be recommended. I hope that this helps.

For more information:

Go to the Cancer health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Patrick J Getty, MD Patrick J Getty, MD
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University