Lytic Lesion – Causes and Diagnosis
Lytic lesion is a term often encountered in the research on tumors. The term is not really all that common, since “lytic lesion” does not mean anything by itself. “Lytic” basically means a deformed result, while “lesion” indicates that it refers to a tear.
When referring to a tumor, a lytic lesion basically represents the normal or abnormal growths that have to be taken into consideration when trying to determine whether it is benign or malign. Various lesions can usually be detected on all organs and organelles, depending on age, medical record or induced trauma.
When a lesion cannot be explained solely on usual factors, a tumor is most likely present, causing the lytic lesion.
The destruction of an area of the bone caused by a disease is called a lytic lesion of the bone. Lesions appear on an X-ray scan, but their cause cannot be discerned based solely on the scan results alone. Factors like age and size are vital to determining the cause of the lesion and the treatment required.
Possible causes for lytic lesions:
- Primary bone cancer: Here we find osteosarcoma to be the likely culprit. For younger patients who have lesions present on their arm or leg bones, we may find Erwing’s Sarcoma to be responsible. In the case of older individuals with lesions in multiple bones, the primary cause is usually Chondrosarcoma.
- Bone marrow cancer: Multiple myeloma is known to cause bone lesions. These lesions are considered symptoms of the disease and are accompanied by severe pains in the bones.
- Metastases to bone: Renal, prostate and breast cancer can cause metastases to the bone. In such a case, a lytic lesion is extensive and painful.
- Bone cyst: A benign source of lytic lesions, bone cysts are frequent in persons under the age of 30.
- Giant Cell tumors: Common to patients above the age of 20 and under 40, giant cell tumors are benign tumors that usually leave behind bone lesions.
- Fibrous dysplasia: A replacement of normal bone tissue with scar tissue, the fibrous dysplasia is a benign source of bone lesions.
- Osteomyelitis: A chronic bone infection that will cause lesions and present them under a radiological examination. This is a case where surgery is needed to remove the infection.
No matter if they are accompanied by pain or not, lesions are an early warning of a tumor. Even the benign causes need to be kept under observation, as they might develop into something worse along the way. Wear and tear on the bone and tissue is common with age. No bone or tissue structure remains as new throughout our entire lives. Pain, however, is never to be taken lightly.
When such a lesion is detected, the radiologist needs to differentiate between a pseudocyst and a symptom of tumor development. A pseudocyst is a region of low tension in the bone that seems deformed when compared to portions of the bone that are under more tension.
A comparison of the radiological exam with a different examination that was done a couple of years before is an easy method of differentiating between a pseudocyst and an actual tumor symptom. Since a pseudocyst will contain regular bone marrow, an MRI will determine whether it is harmless or malign.
Although the sources for lesions are different and not entirely abnormal, a radiological scan that picks up any lesions will likely warrant further investigation. A pseudocyst located in the humeral anteroposterior area of a young person is a common find. Also, a pseudocyst found in young patients is located in the anterior calcaneal bone. Other than these, an MRI will be most likely required in order to discern between multiple causes.
Though lesions naturally occur on most strained body parts, including bone structures, any pronounced forms of lesions on any area of the body is a cause for some concern. It is important to understand that such lesions are surely to be encountered during a radiological exam, thus it is important to perform such examinations regularly.
Also, a better diagnostic can be given based on prior examination and any growths can be monitored easily when the patient has a good medical examination history. It is also good to know that none of the primary causes for bone lesions will go away by themselves if one ignores the pain one might experience. It is thus important to get expert help whenever in pain so that any abnormal lytic lesion will be discovered in time.