Primary Intraosseous Xanthomas of the Jaws: A Series of Six Cases Including an Example with Formation of Apoptosis-Related Hyaline Globules, So-Called “Thanatosomes”

Peter E. Wilkinson, Stavroula Merkourea, Rajaram Gopalakrishnan, Prokopios P. Argyris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Primary intraosseous xanthomas of the jaws (PIXJ) are rare and predominantly affect the posterior mandible (86%) of normolipemic patients, with a mean age of 30 years and no gender predilection. Clinically, PIXJ exhibit indolent biologic behavior; curettage is considered treatment of choice. Only 36 PIXJ have been reported. Apoptosis-related hyaline globules (HGs), also known as “thanatosomes”, have not been previously reported in PIXJ. Cases diagnosed as xanthoma of bone were retrieved. Six cases fulfilling currently accepted criteria were identified and their clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical properties are presented herein. Mean age for PIXJ was 21.8 years (range = 12–33) and F:M ratio = 2:1. All cases presented as well-demarcated, unilocular or multilocular radiolucencies. Microscopically, PIXJ featured sheets of lipid-laden macrophages with eosinophilic or foamy cytoplasm. A secondary fibroblastic population lacking storiform pattern was evident in two cases. Adipocytes (3/6), peripheral neurovascular bundles (1/6), bone fragments (3/6) and dystrophic calcifications (3/6) were observed enclosed by the xanthoma cells. Notably, one case exhibited numerous, spherical, eosinophilic HGs containing apoptotic nuclei. PIXJ were consistently CD68(+) and negative for CD1α and S100. CD45 decorated lymphocytes and the membrane of foamy histiocytes. Xanthoma cells stained for lysozyme and plasma proteins including alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT), IgG and IgA in one probed case. HGs were lysozyme(+), AAT(+), IgG(+), IgA(+), PAS(+) and diastase-resistant, and fuchsinophilic with Masson’s trichrome. PIXJ represent infrequent, solitary, mandibular lesions with a predilection for the second and third decade of life. Thanatosomes associated with cell injury and death can be present in PIXJ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHead and Neck Pathology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • Benign fibrous histiocytoma
  • CD68
  • Dead bodies
  • Hyaline globules
  • Jaws
  • Non-ossifying fibroma
  • Thanatosomes
  • Xanthoma

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