Differential diagnosis and treatment of enchondromas and atypical cartilaginous tumours of the pelvis: analysis of 21 patients

  • Patricio A. Alfaro
  • Giovanni Ciani
  • Carlos A. Herrera
  • Davide Maria Donati
  • Costantino ErraniEmail author
Original Article • PELVIS - TUMORS



Studies focusing on enchondroma and atypical cartilaginous tumour (ACT) of the pelvis are lacking. The purpose of this study was to verify possible clinical and radiological findings with regard to distinguishing enchondromas from ACT of the pelvis. In addition, this study analysed functional and oncological outcomes in patients with enchondromas or ACT of the pelvis treated with curettage or resection.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 21 patients with confirmed enchondroma or ACT of the pelvis treated by curettage or resection from 1985 to 2018. The minimum follow-up was 18 months. The relationship between clinical and radiological factors and tumour type or local recurrence was assessed using Fisher exact test and Mann–Whitney U test.


Endosteal scalloping (p = 0.039), tumour size (0.005) and age (0.006) were shown to statistically favour ACT over enchondroma; by contrast, enchondroma and ACT patients had no difference in pain frequency (p = 0.5528). All patients with enchondroma had no local recurrence; in contrast, local recurrence occurred in one patient with ACT, initially treated with resection. The patient with local recurrence had a disease progression with a higher histological grade than the original tumour. Patients treated with curettage had better functional outcomes than patients treated with resection (p = 0.001).


Endosteal scalloping, tumour size and age could be helpful in the differential diagnosis between enchondroma and ACT of the pelvis. In addition, our study showed that ACT of the pelvis can be safely treated with curettage due to a low risk of local recurrence and better functional results compared with resection. In case of recurrence, we suggest to treat these patients with resection for the risk of disease progression.


Enchondroma Atypical cartilaginous tumour Chondrosarcoma Diagnosis Treatment Pelvis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hospital Traumatologico de Concepcion, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of ConcepcionConcepciónChile
  2. 2.Orthopaedic ServiceIRCCS Istituto Ortopedico RizzoliBolognaItaly

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