Article Abstract

Metastatic chordoma detected by endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration

Authors: Conor Fearon, Aurelie Fabre, Eric J. Heffernan, Stephen J. Skehan, Niall Swan, Michael P. Keane, Marcus W. Butler


Chordomas are rare, slow-growing malignant bone tumours arising from cellular remnants of the notochord. These tumours are locally invasive but have also a metastastic potential .

Chordomas are characterized by the presence of physaliferous cells in a myxofibrillary stromal background. In cytological aspirates, these characteristic cells are usually absent, revealing only clusters of cells with varying degrees of vacuolation. This makes definitive diagnosis of chordoma difficult as the tumor can mimic other myxoid neoplasms including renal cell carcinomas and well-differentiated chondrosarcomas. In such situations, a confident diagnosis of chordoma requires comparison with histology of the primary tumor.

We describe the first case of metastatic chordoma diagnosed by endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA).