MR imaging of extraabdominal desmoids: Differentiation from other neoplasms

T. E. Hartman, T. H. Berquist, J. F. Fetsch

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68 Scopus citations


A retrospective review of MR images of 36 patients with histologically proved extraabdominal desmoids was done to define the MR characteristics of these tumors and to determine if MR could be used to differentiate desmoids from other benign and malignant soft-tissue neoplasms. The desmoids evaluated included eight primary and 30 recurrent lesions. Our study was conducted in parallel with another study in which the MR appearance of 95 benign and malignant soft-tissue masses was evaluated, and the MR images of these masses were compared with our findings. The four desmoids from that study are included in our data. The signal intensity of the tumor on T1- and T2- weighted images was graded relative to the intensities of muscle and fat. Homogeneity, margin, neurovascular and bone involvement, and fibrosis (low- signal regions within the tumor on both T1- and T2-weighted images) were evaluated. On MR imaging, the desmoids showed inhomogeneous signal (97%), poor margination (89%), neurovascular involvement (58%), and bone involvement (37%). Fibrosis was present in 88% of primary desmoids and 90% of recurrent ones, and intermediate signal (greater than that of muscle and less than that of fat) was present in 75% and 50% of these, respectively. Our results show that the MR features of desmoids have characteristics that are commonly found in malignant tumors (inhomogeneous signal, poor margination, and neurovascular involvement). MR features of desmoids that distinguish them from malignant neoplasms are the presence of fibrosis and intermediate signal in the regions of the tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-585
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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