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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000 Apr;174(4):1025-30.

CT of recurrent retroperitoneal sarcomas.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Michigan Hospitals, Ann Arbor 48109-0030, USA.



We reviewed the medical records and CT scans of 33 patients with recurrent retroperitoneal sarcomas to determine the patterns of recurrent disease.


We reviewed the medical records and CT examinations obtained at the time the recurrence was diagnosed and tabulated data for all patients. Data for patients with high-grade malignancies were compared with those of patients with low-grade malignancies to determine whether there were differences in the interval between initial tumor resection and recurrence. We also compared CT appearances to determine patterns of recurrent disease.


Twenty-five of 33 recurrences were detected within 2 years of initial surgery. Only 16 patients had symptoms, and when present, most symptoms were nonspecific. In 28 (85%) patients, recurrent tumor was in the abdomen at the time of diagnosis. In nine patients, the largest detectable abdominal tumor was less than 5 cm in diameter. Interval to recurrence was similar for patients with low- and high-grade tumors. Although the CT appearance was similar for both grades, distant metastases were identified only in patients with high-grade malignancies.


Primary retroperitoneal malignancies frequently recur within 2 years of initial surgical resection. For asymptomatic patients, diagnosis is typically made during routine follow-up CT. Most patients have abdominal recurrences that may be small when first detected.

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