The origin of the term 'aneurysmal bone cyst' stems from two cases reported by Jaffe and Lichtenstein  in their article on unicameral bone cysts in 1942. In that report, they noted two 'peculiar blood-containing cysts of large size,' which they described as aneurysmal cysts. In a subsequent paper, Jaffe chose the name 'aneurysmal bone cyst' as the descriptive term for this lesion, with the word 'aneurysmal' to emphasize the 'blown-out,' distended contour of the affected bone, and the words 'bone cyst' to underscore that when the lesion is entered through a thin shell of bone, it appears largely as a blood-filled cavity  (Fig. 1). As originally described by Jaffe and Lichtenstein in 1942, and in following articles by each [3-6], aneurysmal bone cyst was sufficiently characteristic to identify it as a distinctive radiologic-pathologic entity. However, its nature has remained unclear. In both the original and an ensuing paper on the subject, Jaffe postulated that aneurysmal bone cyst may be a secondary phenomenon due to a hemorrhagic 'blow-out' in a preexisting lesion, which may be destroyed in the process [3, 4]. Lichtenstein also suggested a vascular origin but postulated that the lesion was the result of a 'local circulatory disturbance,' noting that although 'the precise basis for this vascular disturbance is not readily discernible... it could conceivably be thrombosis of a sizable vein, or perhaps an anomalous arteriovenous communication' [5, 6].
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging