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Clin Radiol. 2012 Apr;67(4):346-51. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2011.10.004. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Mesenchymal chondrosarcoma of the orbit: CT and MRI findings.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. cjr.yangbentao@vip.163.com



To describe the computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of orbital mesenchymal chondrosarcomas (MCSs).


Six patients with histology-confirmed MCSs of the orbit were retrospectively reviewed. All six patients underwent CT and MRI. Imaging studies were evaluated for the following: (a) tumour location, (b) configuration, size, and margin, (c) CT attenuation and MRI signal intensity, and (d) secondary manifestations. Additionally, the time-intensity curve (TIC) of dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI were analysed in five patients.


Two MCSs arose in the right orbit and four in the left orbit. Five MCSs were located in the retrobulbar intraconal space and one in the extraconal space. All the lesions displayed a lobulate configuration and had a well-defined margin. The mean maximum diameter was 25.8 mm (range 15-36 mm). On unenhanced CT, the lesions appeared isodense to grey matter in six patients, with calcifications in five. Two patients showed inhomogeneous, moderate enhancement on enhanced CT. Six MCSs appeared isointense on T1-weighted imaging and heterogeneously isointense on T2-weighted imaging. The lesions showed significantly heterogeneous contrast enhancement. Five patients had DCE MRI and the TICs showed a rapidly enhancing and rapid washout pattern (type III). The following features were also detected: compression of the extra-ocular muscle (six patients, 100%); displacement of the optic nerve (five patients, 83.3%); and encasing globe (three patients, 50%).


A well-defined, lobulate orbital mass with calcification on CT and, marked heterogeneous enhancement and type III TIC on MRI are highly suspicious of orbital MCSs.

Copyright © 2011 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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