Clival masses

The differential of a mass involving or arising from the clivus is a relatively narrow one and can be divided into whether the lesion arises from the skull base itself, the intracranial compartment above or the base of skull below.

When evaluating the clivus it is important to compare the marrow signal to that of the adjacent pons on non-contrast, non-fat saturated T1 sequences. Sagittal plane is most useful 3. See: normal bone marrow signal of the clivus.

An important normal variant that can sometimes be mistaken for clival pathology is a prominent basilar venous plexus that can appear to erode the posterior surface of the clivus 4, as well as prominent clival diploic veins that may mimic masses of the body of the clivus 5

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Article information

rID: 4614
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Clival lesions
  • Clival mass
  • Clival lesion
  • Clival tumours
  • Clivus mass
  • Clivus lesion

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: chordoma
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  • Case 2: macroadenoma
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  • Case 3: clival meningioma
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  • Case 4: chondrosarcoma
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  • Case 5: nasopharyngeal carcinoma
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