Soft-Tissue Sarcomas of the Abdomen and Pelvis: Radiologic-Pathologic Features, Part 1-Common Sarcomas: From the Radiologic Pathology Archives.
Radiographics. 2017 Mar-Apr;37(2):462-483. doi: 10.1148/rg.2017160157.
Levy AD1, Manning MA1, Al-Refaie WB1, Miettinen MM1.
Soft-tissue sarcomas are a diverse group of rare mesenchymal malignancies that can arise at any location in the body and affect all age groups. These sarcomas are most common in the extremities, trunk wall, retroperitoneum, and head and neck. In the adult population, soft-tissue sarcomas arising in the abdomen and pelvis are often large masses at the time of diagnosis because they are usually clinically silent or cause vague or mild symptoms until they invade or compress vital organs. In contrast, soft-tissue sarcomas arising from the abdominal wall come to clinical attention earlier in the course of disease because they cause a palpable mass, abdominal wall deformity, or pain that is more clinically apparent. The imaging features of abdominal and pelvic sarcomas and abdominal wall sarcomas can be nonspecific and overlap with more common pathologic conditions, making diagnosis difficult or, in some cases, delaying diagnosis. Liposarcoma (well-differentiated and dedifferentiated liposarcomas), leiomyosarcoma, and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) are the most common intra-abdominal primary sarcomas. Any soft-tissue sarcoma can arise in the abdominal wall. Knowledge of the classification and pathologic features of soft-tissue sarcomas, the anatomic locations where they occur, and their cross-sectional imaging features helps the radiologist establish the diagnosis or differential diagnosis so that patients with soft-tissue sarcomas can receive optimal treatment and management. In part 1 of this article, the most common soft-tissue sarcomas (liposarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, and GIST) are reviewed, with a discussion on anatomic locations, classification, clinical considerations, and differential diagnosis. Part 2 will focus on the remainder of the soft-tissue sarcomas occurring in the abdomen and pelvis.