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Skeletal Radiol. 2003 Nov;32(11):628-32. Epub 2003 Sep 30.

Unilateral hypertrophy of tensor fascia lata: a soft tissue tumor simulator.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, SW Rochester, MN 55905, USA. ilaslah@ccf.org



To describe the imaging findings in eight cases of unilateral tensor fascia lata (TFL) hypertrophy presenting as soft tissue masses.


Imaging studies and medical charts of eight patients were reviewed retrospectively. The imaging studies included five radiographs, five computed tomography (CT) and six magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations.


The majority of patients (seven of eight) presented with a palpable proximal anterior thigh mass. One patient was asymptomatic and incidentally diagnosed. There were six females and two males. Ages ranged from 27 to 86 years old (mean 61). MRI and CT showed unilateral enlargement of the TFL muscle in all cases.


TFL muscle hypertrophy is an uncommon clinical entity, which can simulate a soft tissue tumor. The characteristic appearance on CT or MRI allows a confident diagnosis of muscle hypertrophy to be made, avoiding unnecessary biopsy or surgical intervention.

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