Giant Cell Tumour as the cause of an early Vertebra Plana. A Rare Case Report and Review of Literature


  • Robert Amesiya
  • Alexis D.B Buunaaim
  • Nyati Malon
  • Mwaka E
  • Norbert Orowtho


We report a 20-year-old woman who presented with progressive weakness of the lower extremitiesfollowing a sudden fall three weeks before presentation. Her radiographs showed vertebra plana of theseventh thoracic vertebral body which was initially thought to be as a result of pre-existing tumour ortrauma with cord compression. Histological examination of biopsy following anterior decompressionthrough a thoracotomy revealed the cause to be a Giant cell tumor (GCT). Not all vertebral planas arecaused by Eosinophilic granuloma. Usually the image of choice for distinguishing a spinal GCT from othertumours of the spine is an MRI which can define the characteristic and extent of signal intensity of atumour, its absence in most low and middle income countries like Mulago hospital in Uganda, coupled withinability of patients to afford its high cost makes it relatively unavailable but with high index of suspicionand clinical acumen such tumors can be diagnosed and treated successfully at low cost.