Benign notochordal cell tumor of the clivus with chordoma component: report of 2 cases

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  • 1 Departments of Neurosurgery,
  • 3 Pathology,
  • 4 Radiology, and
  • 5 Otorhinolaryngology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; and
  • 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York
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Benign notochordal cell tumors (BNCTs) are considered to be benign intraosseous lesions of notochord origin; however, recent spine studies have suggested the possibility that some chordomas arise from BNCTs. Here, the authors describe two cases demonstrating histological features of BNCT and concomitant chordoma involving the clivus, which, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, have not been previously documented at this anatomical site.

An 18-year-old female presented with an incidentally discovered clival mass. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a 2.8-cm nonenhancing lesion in the upper clivus that was T2 hyperintense and T1 hypointense. She underwent an uneventful endoscopic transsphenoidal resection. Histologically, the tumor demonstrated areas of classic chordoma and a distinct intraosseous BNCT component. The patient completed adjuvant radiation therapy. Follow-up showed no recurrence at 18 months.

A 39-year-old male presented with an incidentally discovered 2.8-cm clival lesion. The nonenhancing mass was T2 hyperintense and T1 hypointense. Surgical removal of the lesion was performed through an endoscopic transsphenoidal approach. Histological analysis revealed areas of BNCT with typical features of chordoma. Follow-up did not demonstrate recurrence at 4 years.

These cases document histologically concomitant BNCT and chordoma involving the clivus, suggesting that the BNCT component may be a precursor of chordoma.

ABBREVIATIONS BNCT = benign notochordal cell tumor; EP = ecchordosis physaliphora.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Jamie J. Van Gompel: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. vangompel.jamie@mayo.edu.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online September 13, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2019.6.JNS19529.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

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