Desmoplastic Fibroblastoma: An Uncommon Tumor with a Relatively Characteristic MRI Appearance

Maxine E. Kresse, Mark J. Kransdorf, Michael G. Fox, Jonathan A. Flug, Jeremiah R. Long, Mark D. Murphey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. We undertook this study to determine the radiologic features of desmoplastic fibroblastoma. MATERIALS AND METHODS. We reviewed available radiologic images for 29 pathologically confirmed desmoplastic fibroblastomas, including images from MRI, radiography, ultrasound (US), and CT. RESULTS. The patient population included 14 women and 15 men (mean age, 60 years; range, 23-96 years). Typically, lesions were oval or lobulated and relatively small (mean, 5.6 cm). In 14 of the 22 cases that included patient histories, lesions had grown slowly, with two eventually causing pain. The remaining eight were discovered incidentally. All lesions involved or were below the deep fascia. Lesions were well-defined and associated with muscle (45%), deep fascia (28%), joint (21%), or tendon (7%). MR images were available in 26 cases; 14 included unenhanced and contrast-enhanced studies. On MRI all lesions were well-defined and adjacent to dense connective tissue. On T1-weighted images, lesions showed varying amounts of low and intermediate signal intensity similar to that of tendon and skeletal muscle, respectively. On fluid-sensitive images, lesions were more heterogeneous, generally showing a wider spectrum of decreased to intermediate signal intensity. On contrast-enhanced MR images, enhancement was characteristically peripheral and septal with patchy areas of homogeneity. In the 10 cases with radiographs, images showed negative findings or a nonmineralized mass. The 10 available ultrasound studies showed mixed echogenicity. In eight patients, unenhanced CT showed lesions having attenuation similar to that of skeletal muscle. CONCLUSION. Desmoplastic fibroblastoma is an uncommon neoplasm with a relatively characteristic MRI appearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Desmoplastic fibroblastoma
  • MRI
  • Musculoskeletal oncology
  • Soft-Tissue tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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