Medical Definition of Pigmented villonodular synovitis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Pigmented villonodular synovitis: A benign proliferative form of monoarthritis (arthritis in just one joint) that can occurs at any age but is most common in adults age 20-50. The joint most often affected is the knee with the hip, ankle, and shoulder affected less commonly. Pigmented villonodular synovitis is pigmented by hemosiderin deposited in the synovium (the joint lining). The disorder is of unknown cause.

The diagnosis may be confirmed by biopsy. The usual treatment of choice is synovectomy (surgical removal of the synovium). Any associated bony lesions should be carefully curettaged and bone grafting should be done, if needed. However, the disorder has a high rate of local recurrence. Pigmented villonodular synovitis may be abbreviated PVS or PVNS.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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