Imaging of Soft Tissue Tumors

pp 3-18

Ultrasound of Soft Tissue Tumors

  • J. GielenAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen, University of Antwerp
  • , R. CeulemansAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation
  • , M. van HolsbeeckAffiliated withDepartment of Diagnostic Radiology, Section Musculoskeletal Radiology and Emergency Radiology, Henry Ford Hospital

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1.4 Conclusion

Ultrasound is an important imaging technique in the initial assessment of a soft tissue swelling. In the majority of cases, it will establish that the swelling is benign in character (e.g., in wrist ganglions, meniscal cysts, or tenosynovitis) and obviate unnecessary further imaging workup.

In soft tissue tumors in the wrist, hand, fingers, and skin and in peripheral nerve tumors, ultrasound imaging is superior to MRI by virtue of its small field of view and excellent anatomical depiction. The drawback of ultrasound is its nonspecificity in the setting of a hypoechoic solid soft tissue mass. In institutions without a biopsy-dedicated CT or MRI suite, ultrasound is the most accessible and least time-consuming modality for imaging-guided aspiration and biopsy.