Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 271–284 | Cite as

Imaging of the most frequent superficial soft-tissue sarcomas

  • Mélanie MorelEmail author
  • Sophie Taïeb
  • Nicolas Penel
  • Laurent Mortier
  • Luc Vanseymortier
  • Y. Marie Robin
  • Pierre Gosset
  • Anne Cotten
  • Luc Ceugnart
Review Article


Superficial soft-tissue sarcomas are malignant mesenchymal tumors located within the cutaneous and/or subcutaneous layers. Most superficial soft-tissue sarcomas are low-grade tumors; yet, the risk of local recurrence is high, and initial wide surgery is the main prognostic factor. Some of these superficial sarcomas may grow, following an infiltrative pattern, and their real extent may be underestimated clinically. Imaging techniques are useful to determine precisely the real margins of the tumor, especially in cases of clinically doubtful or recurrent or large superficial lesions. Imaging tools enable one to determine the relationship with the superficial fascia separating the subcutaneous layer from the underlying muscle. In our institution ultrasonographic examination is followed by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging when the size of the lesion exceeds 3–5 cm. Imaging assessment is performed prior to biopsy, enabling optimal surgical management. Imaging features of the main superficial sarcomas are detailed in the following article, according to their major locations: those arising in the epidermis and/or dermis, which are most often diagnosed by dermatologists, and the subcutaneous sarcomas.


Soft-tissue sarcoma Superficial sarcoma World Health Organization (WHO) Magnetic resonance imaging 


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Copyright information

© ISS 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mélanie Morel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sophie Taïeb
    • 1
  • Nicolas Penel
    • 2
  • Laurent Mortier
    • 3
  • Luc Vanseymortier
    • 4
  • Y. Marie Robin
    • 5
  • Pierre Gosset
    • 6
  • Anne Cotten
    • 7
  • Luc Ceugnart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyCentre Oscar LambretLilleFrance
  2. 2.Department of OncologyCentre Oscar LambretLilleFrance
  3. 3.Department of Dermatology, Hôpital Claude HuriezCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de LilleLilleFrance
  4. 4.Department of SurgeryCentre Oscar LambretLilleFrance
  5. 5.Departement of PathologyCentre Oscar LambretLilleFrance
  6. 6.Department of Pathology, Hôpital Saint-PhilibertGroupement Hospitalier de l’Institut Catholique-Faculté Libre de Médecine de LilleLommeFrance
  7. 7.Department of Musculoskeletal Radiology, Centre Hôpital Roger SalengroCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de LilleLilleFrance

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