Chondroid chordoma. Electron-microscopic study of two cases

E. Valderrama, L. B. Kahn, S. Lipper, J. Marc

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29 Scopus citations


Chondroid chordoma is an unusual tumor composed of an admixture of chondromatous and chordomatous tissue usually located in the spheno-occipital region. This tumor shares many of the clinical and histologic features of classic chordoma and chondrosarcoma and has been shown to have a better prognosis than either of these lesions. To the best of our knowledge, no ultrastructural studies have been performed in the 26 cases of chondroid chordoma published previously. We document the ultrastructural features of two examples of chondroid chordoma. Certain features such as prominent and dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum, intracytoplasmic glycogen aggregates, and abundant fibrillogranular matrix are common to chordoma, chondrosarcoma, and chondroid chordoma. The presence of well-formed tonofilament desmosome complexes as well as complexes composed of alternating profiles of rough endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria were seen only in chondroma and chondroid chordoma, but not in cartilaginous tumors. Of particular interest was the finding of crystalline, tubular structures within the rough endoplasmic reticulum of both cases of chondroid chordoma, a finding not described previously. The distinction of chondroid chordoma from classical chordoma is said to be a difficult one at the light-microscopic level, and we suggest that these intraergastoplasmic tubular structures might constitute an extremely helpful differential marker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes


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