Purpose of Review:
Chordoma are rare tumours of the axial skeleton which occur most often at the base of the skull and in the sacrum. Although chordoma are generally slow-growing lesions, the recurrence rate is high and the location makes it often difficult to treat. Both computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are crucial in the initial diagnosis, treatment planning and post-treatment follow-up.
Basic MRI and CT characteristics of chordoma were described in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since then, imaging techniques have evolved with increased resolution and new molecular imaging tools are rapidly evolving. New imaging tools have been developed not only to study anatomy, but also physiologic changes and characterization of tissue and assessment of tumour biology. Recent studies show the uptake of multiple PET tracers in chordoma, which may become an important aspect in the diagnosis, follow-up and personalized therapy.
This review gives an overview of skull base chordoma histopathology, classic imaging characteristics, radiomics and state-of-the-art imaging techniques that are now emerging in diagnosis, treatment planning and disease monitoring of skull base chordoma.