Virchows Archiv

, Volume 445, Issue 3, pp 215–223


Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00428-004-1038-9

Cite this article as:
Fisher, C. Virchows Arch (2004) 445: 215. doi:10.1007/s00428-004-1038-9


Myofibrosarcomas are malignant tumours of myofibroblasts, which have been recognised for many years, but have become clearly defined only recently. They are low- or high-grade sarcomas that arise in soft tissue or bone in adults or children. Low-grade myofibrosarcomas are infiltrative tumours, usually in deep soft tissue, with a predilection for the head and neck region, which display a range of microscopic appearances from fasciitis-like to fibrosarcoma-like; all cases at least focally display nuclear pleomorphism. They express smooth-muscle actin and calponin, and some express desmin, but most lack h-caldesmon. Low-grade myofibrosarcomas can recur but rarely metastasise. Their differential diagnosis is from benign myofibroblastic proliferations, such as fasciitis and fibromatosis, as well as from fibrosarcoma and leiomyosarcoma. Pleomorphic myofibrosarcomas are high-grade pleomorphic sarcomas (malignant fibrous histiocytoma), which show ultrastructural evidence of myofibroblastic differentiation. They closely resemble malignant fibrous histiocytoma clinically and morphologically, but are more frequently actin positive. This article describes the low- and high-grade variants of myofibrosarcoma and other malignant tumours with myofibroblastic differentiation.


Myofibrosarcoma Myofibroblast Sarcoma Soft tissue 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Marsden HospitalLondon UK

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