Chapter 142



Chordomas are rare tumors that account for 3 to 4% of primary malignant bone tumors and are the most common primary sacral neoplasm. Chordomas can occur at any age, but the peak incidence is in the sixth decade. There is a 2:1 male predominance. These tumors can occur anywhere along the skull base and spine: 50% arise in the sacrum, 35% in the clivus, and 15% in the vertebrae. In the spine, the areas most commonly involved are the cervical, lumbar, and thoracic spine, in descending order of frequency. Chordomas are locally invasive tumors with no propensity for metastatic spread. However, chordomas arising in the vertebral bodies have a greater likelihood for distant metastases than their counterparts in the sacrum or the clivus. Although metastases have been reported in 10 to 15% of all cases, metastases occur in 80% of chordomas arising in the vertebral bodies.

Clinical Features

Pain is the most common symptom and is usually localized to the site of origin. Vertebral chordomas may result in cord compression as they enlarge.


Dec 27, 2015 | Posted by in HEAD & NECK IMAGING | Comments Off on Chordoma
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