OBJECTIVE. The term 'dedifferentiated' liposarcoma is used to describe a distinctive lesion in which a well-differentiated liposarcoma is juxtaposed with a high-grade nonlipogenic sarcoma. Dedifferentiated liposarcoma is probably the most common of all the dedifferentiated sarcomas, occurring almost exclusively in the mediastinum, the retroperitoneum, and the inguinal/paratesticular regions. We report the imaging findings in four cases of dedifferentiated liposarcoma of the lower extremities. MATERIALS AND METHODS. The radiologic images and clinical histories of four patients with histologically verified dedifferentiated liposarcoma were retrospectively studied. The mean age of the patients was 61 years (range, 33-79 years). All lesions occurred in the thigh. Spin-echo MR images were available for review in two cases and CT scans in the two remaining cases. Plain radiographs were available in all cases. RESULTS. All lesions were large, with a mean maximum size of 24 cm (range, 12-30 cm), and had a significant fatty component radiologically. Both MR and CT showed a well-delineated fatty component of the lesions and a closely apposed nonfatty region. Radiographs showed well- defined bone within one lesion, bone and amorphous calcification in another, and a single punctate calcification in a third. Two patients had a history of excision of a lipomatous lesion in the region of the mass. One patient had pulmonary metastases. CONCLUSION. The potential for deep well-differentiated fatty tumors of the extremities to dedifferentiate is not generally recognized. Although the different types of liposarcoma cannot be reliably distinguished with imaging studies, a well-defined nonlipomatous mass juxtaposed with a predominantly fatty tumor is suggestive of a dedifferentiated liposarcoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging