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A systematic review of multicentric giant cell tumour with the presentation of three cases at long-term follow-up

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We performed a systematic literature review to define features of patients, treatment, and biological behaviour of multicentric giant cell tumour (GCT) of bone.


The search terms used in combination were “multicentric”, “giant cell tumour”, and “bone”. Exclusion criteria were: reports lacking data, with only an abstract; papers not reporting data on multicentric GCT; and papers on multicentric GCT associated with other diseases. Additionally, we report three patients treated under our care.


A total of 52 papers reporting on 104 patients were included in the analysis, with our addition of three patients. Multicentric GCT affected predominantly young people at a mean age of 22 years (10 to 62), manifesting commonly as metachronous tumours. The mean interval between the first and subsequent lesions was seven years (six months to 27 years). Synchronous lesions were observed in one-third of the patients. Surgery was curettage in 63% of cases (163 lesions); resections or amputation were less frequent. Systemic treatments were used in 10% (n = 14) of patients. Local recurrence and distant metastases were common.


Multicentric GCT is rare, biologically aggressive, and its course is unpredictable. Patients with GCT should be followed indefinitely, and referred promptly if new symptoms, particularly pain, emerge. Denosumab can have an important role in the treatment.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2022;104-B(12):1352–1361.

Correspondence should be sent to Pietro Ruggieri. E-mail:

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