Intraosseous hibernoma: clinicopathologic and imaging analysis of 18 cases

Chiraag N. Gangahar, Carina A. Dehner, David P. Wang, Behrang Amini, Travis Hillen, Christopher O'Conor, Sydney N. Jennings, Kathleen Byrnes, Elizabeth A. Montgomery, Bogdan A. Czerniak, Julia A. Bridge, Molly C. Schroeder, Jack W. Jennings, Wei Lien Wang, John S.A. Chrisinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aims: Intraosseous hibernomas are rarely reported tumours with brown adipocytic differentiation of unknown aetiology, with only 38 cases documented in the literature. We sought to further characterise the clinicopathologic, imaging and molecular features of these tumours. Methods and result: Eighteen cases were identified occurring in eight females and 10 males (median age = 65 years, range = 7–75). Imaging indication was cancer surveillance/staging in 11 patients and clinical concern for a metastasis was raised in 13 patients. The innominate bone (7), sacrum (5), mobile spine (4), humerus (1) and femur (1) were involved. Median tumour size was 1.5 cm (range = 0.8–3.8). Tumours were sclerotic (11), mixed sclerotic and lytic (4) or occult (1). Microscopically, tumours were composed of large polygonal cells with distinct cell membranes, finely vacuolated cytoplasm, central or paracentral small bland nuclei with prominent scalloping. Growth around trabecular bone was observed. Tumour cells were immunoreactive for S100 protein (15/15) and adipophilin (5/5), while negative for keratin AE1/AE3(/PCK26) (0/14) and brachyury (0/2). Chromosomal microarray analysis, performed on four cases, did not show clinically significant copy number variation across the genome or on 11q, the site of AIP and MEN1. Conclusion: Analysis of 18 cases of intraosseous hibernoma, to our knowledge, the largest series to date, revealed that these tumours are most often detected in the spine and pelvis of older adults. Tumours were generally small, sclerotic and frequently found incidentally and can raise concern for metastasis. Whether or not these tumours are related to soft tissue hibernomas is uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • benign adipocytic
  • bone
  • brown fat
  • intraosseous hibernoma


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