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Eur Radiol. 2009 Jun;19(6):1499-511. doi: 10.1007/s00330-008-1292-3. Epub 2009 Mar 6.

Soft tissue sarcomas at a glance: clinical, histological, and MR imaging features of malignant extremity soft tissue tumors.

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Department of Radiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Soft tissue sarcomas comprise approximately 1% of malignant tumors. There are more than 50 subtypes, but pleomorphic sarcoma, liposarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor account for 75%. Differentiation between these subtypes is difficult because they often present with a painless enlarging mass, and share many histological and MR imaging features. Nonetheless, subdifferentiation is important because the different subtypes have different prognoses and therapeutic strategies. In this manuscript we discuss the clinical, histological, and MR imaging features of soft tissue sarcomas according to the WHO classification. An overview is provided and differentiating features are discussed that can help to narrow down the differential diagnosis.

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