Fibrous dysplasia of bone

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Fibrous dysplasia
Fibrous dysplasia - intermed mag.jpg
Micrograph showing fibrous dysplasia with the characteristic thin, irregular (Chinese character-like) bony trabeculae and fibrotic marrow space. H&E stain.
Classification and external resources
Specialty medical genetics
ICD-10 K10.8, M85.0, Q78.1

526.89, 733.29,

MedlinePlus 001234
eMedicine radio/284
MeSH D005357

Fibrous dysplasia is a disorder where normal bone and marrow is replaced with fibrous tissue, resulting in formation of bone that is weak and prone to expansion. As a result, most complications result from fracture, deformity, functional impairment, and pain.[1] Disease occurs along a broad clinical spectrum ranging from asymptomatic, incidental lesions to severe disabling disease. Disease can affect one bone (monostotic) or multiple (polyostotic), and may occur in isolation or in combination with cafe-au-lait skin macules and hyperfunctioning endocrinopathies, termed McCune-Albright syndrome.[1] More rarely, fibrous dysplasia may be associated with intramuscular myxomas, termed Mazabraud's syndrome.[2] Fibrous dysplasia is very rare, and there is no known cure. Fibrous dysplasia is not a form of cancer.


Fibrous dysplasia is a mosaic disease resulting from post-zygotic activating mutations of the GNAS locus at 20q13.2-q13.3, which codes for the α subunit of the Gs G-coupled protein receptor.[3] In bone, constitutive Gsα signaling results in impaired differentiation and proliferation of bone marrow stromal cells.[4] Proliferation of these cells causes replacement of normal bone and marrow with fibrous tissue. The bony trabeculae are abnormally thin and irregular, and often likened to Chinese characters (bony spicules on biopsy).

Fibrous dysplasia is not hereditary, and there has never been a case of transmission from parent to child.


Fibrous dysplasia of the right zygomatic bone (left in the image). Corresponding T2-weighted MRI (left) and CT (right) of the same patient.

Fibrous dysplasia is a mosaic disease that can involve any part or combination of the craniofacial, axillary, and/or appendicular skeleton.[5] The type and severity of the complications therefore depend on the location and extent of the affected skeleton. The clinical spectrum is very broad, ranging from an isolated, asymptomatic monostotic lesion discovered incidentally, to severe disabling disease involving practically the entire skeleton and leading to loss of vision, hearing, and/or mobility.

Individual bone lesions typically manifest during the first few years of life and expand during childhood. The vast majority of clinically significant bone lesions are detectable by age 10 years, with few new and almost no clinically significant bone lesions appearing after age 15 years.[6] Total body scintigraphy is useful to identify and determine the extent of bone lesions, and should be performed in all patients with suspected fibrous dysplasia.[1]

Children with fibrous dysplasia in the appendicular skeleton typically present with limp, pain, and/or pathologic fractures. Frequent fractures and progressive deformity may lead to difficulties with ambulation and impaired mobility. In the craniofacial skeleton, fibrous dysplasia may present as a painless “lump” or facial asymmetry. Expansion of craniofacial lesions may lead to progressive facial deformity. In rare cases patients may develop vision and/or hearing loss due to compromise of the optic nerves and/or auditory canals, which is more common in patients with McCune-Albright syndrome associated growth hormone excess.[7] Fibrous dysplasia commonly involves the spine, and may lead to scoliosis, which in rare instances may be severe.[8] Untreated, progressive scoliosis is one of the few features of fibrous dysplasia that can lead to early fatality.

Bone pain is a common complication of fibrous dysplasia. It may present at any age, but most commonly develops during adolescence and progresses into adulthood.[5]

Bone marrow stromal cells in fibrous dysplasia produce excess amounts of the phosphate-regulating hormone fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23), leading to loss of phosphate in the urine.[9] Patients with hypophosphatemia may develop rickets/osteomalacia, increased fractures, and bone pain.[10]

Micrograph of fibrous dysplasia (right of image) jutxaposed with unaffected bone (left of image). H&E stain


Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery to treat and prevent fractures, and correct deformity.[11]
  • Intravenous bisphosphonates may be helpful for treatment of bone pain, but there is no clear evidence that they strengthen bone lesions or prevent fractures.[12][13]
  • All patients should be evaluated and treated for endocrine diseases associated with McCune–Albright syndrome.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Boyce, Alison M.; Collins, Michael T. (1993-01-01). Pagon, Roberta A.; Adam, Margaret P.; Ardinger, Holly H.; Wallace, Stephanie E.; Amemiya, Anne; Bean, Lora JH; Bird, Thomas D.; Fong, Chin-To; Mefford, Heather C., eds. Fibrous Dysplasia/McCune-Albright Syndrome. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle. PMID 25719192. 
  2. ^ Cabral, C. E.; Guedes, P.; Fonseca, T.; Rezende, J. F.; Cruz Júnior, L. C.; Smith, J. (1998-05-01). "Polyostotic fibrous dysplasia associated with intramuscular myxomas: Mazabraud's syndrome". Skeletal Radiology 27 (5): 278–282. ISSN 0364-2348. PMID 9638839. 
  3. ^ Weinstein, L. S.; Shenker, A.; Gejman, P. V.; Merino, M. J.; Friedman, E.; Spiegel, A. M. (1991-12-12). "Activating mutations of the stimulatory G protein in the McCune-Albright syndrome". The New England Journal of Medicine 325 (24): 1688–1695. doi:10.1056/NEJM199112123252403. ISSN 0028-4793. PMID 1944469. 
  4. ^ Riminucci, M.; Fisher, L. W.; Shenker, A.; Spiegel, A. M.; Bianco, P.; Gehron Robey, P. (1997-12-01). "Fibrous dysplasia of bone in the McCune-Albright syndrome: abnormalities in bone formation". The American Journal of Pathology 151 (6): 1587–1600. ISSN 0002-9440. PMC 1858361. PMID 9403710. 
  5. ^ a b Kelly, M. H.; Brillante, B.; Collins, M. T. (2008-01-01). "Pain in fibrous dysplasia of bone: age-related changes and the anatomical distribution of skeletal lesions". Osteoporosis international: a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA 19 (1): 57–63. doi:10.1007/s00198-007-0425-x. ISSN 0937-941X. PMID 17622477. 
  6. ^ Hart, Elizabeth S.; Kelly, Marilyn H.; Brillante, Beth; Chen, Clara C.; Ziran, Navid; Lee, Janice S.; Feuillan, Penelope; Leet, Arabella I.; Kushner, Harvey (2007-09-01). "Onset, progression, and plateau of skeletal lesions in fibrous dysplasia and the relationship to functional outcome". Journal of Bone and Mineral Research: The Official Journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 22 (9): 1468–1474. doi:10.1359/jbmr.070511. ISSN 0884-0431. PMID 17501668. 
  7. ^ Cutler, Carolee M.; Lee, Janice S.; Butman, John A.; FitzGibbon, Edmond J.; Kelly, Marilyn H.; Brillante, Beth A.; Feuillan, Penelope; Robey, Pamela G.; DuFresne, Craig R. (2006-11-01). "Long-term outcome of optic nerve encasement and optic nerve decompression in patients with fibrous dysplasia: risk factors for blindness and safety of observation". Neurosurgery 59 (5): 1011–1017; discussion 1017–1018. doi:10.1227/01.NEU.0000254440.02736.E3. ISSN 1524-4040. PMID 17143235. 
  8. ^ Leet, Arabella I.; Magur, Edward; Lee, Janice S.; Wientroub, Shlomo; Robey, Pamela G.; Collins, Michael T. (2004-03-01). "Fibrous dysplasia in the spine: prevalence of lesions and association with scoliosis". The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 86–A (3): 531–537. ISSN 0021-9355. PMID 14996879. 
  9. ^ Riminucci, Mara; Collins, Michael T.; Fedarko, Neal S.; Cherman, Natasha; Corsi, Alessandro; White, Kenneth E.; Waguespack, Steven; Gupta, Anurag; Hannon, Tamara (2003-09-01). "FGF-23 in fibrous dysplasia of bone and its relationship to renal phosphate wasting". The Journal of Clinical Investigation 112 (5): 683–692. doi:10.1172/JCI18399. ISSN 0021-9738. PMC 182207. PMID 12952917. 
  10. ^ Leet, Arabella I.; Chebli, Caroline; Kushner, Harvey; Chen, Clara C.; Kelly, Marilyn H.; Brillante, Beth A.; Robey, Pamela G.; Bianco, Paolo; Wientroub, Shlomo (2004-04-01). "Fracture incidence in polyostotic fibrous dysplasia and the McCune-Albright syndrome". Journal of Bone and Mineral Research: The Official Journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 19 (4): 571–577. doi:10.1359/JBMR.0301262. ISSN 0884-0431. PMID 15005844. 
  11. ^ Stanton, Robert P.; Ippolito, Ernesto; Springfield, Dempsey; Lindaman, Lynn; Wientroub, Shlomo; Leet, Arabella (2012-05-24). "The surgical management of fibrous dysplasia of bone". Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 7 Suppl 1: S1. doi:10.1186/1750-1172-7-S1-S1. ISSN 1750-1172. PMC 3359959. PMID 22640754. 
  12. ^ Plotkin, Horacio; Rauch, Frank; Zeitlin, Leonid; Munns, Craig; Travers, Rose; Glorieux, Francis H. (2003-10-01). "Effect of pamidronate treatment in children with polyostotic fibrous dysplasia of bone". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 88 (10): 4569–4575. doi:10.1210/jc.2003-030050. ISSN 0021-972X. PMID 14557424. 
  13. ^ Boyce, Alison M.; Kelly, Marilyn H.; Brillante, Beth A.; Kushner, Harvey; Wientroub, Shlomo; Riminucci, Mara; Bianco, Paolo; Robey, Pamela G.; Collins, Michael T. (2014-11-01). "A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of alendronate treatment for fibrous dysplasia of bone". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 99 (11): 4133–4140. doi:10.1210/jc.2014-1371. ISSN 1945-7197. PMC 4223439. PMID 25033066. 

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