Radiation-induced pseudotumor following therapy for soft tissue sarcoma

Lacey F. Moore, Mark J. Kransdorf, Steven J. Buskirk, Mary I. O'Connor, David M. Menke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence and imaging appearance of radiation induced pseudotumors in patients following radiation therapy for extremity soft tissue sarcomas. Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the serial magnetic resonance (MR) images of 24 patients following radiation therapy for extremity soft tissue sarcomas. A total of 208 exams were reviewed (mean, 8.7 exams per patient) and included all available studies following the start of radiation therapy. Exams were analyzed for the identification of focal signal abnormalities within the surgical bed suggesting local tumor recurrence. Histopathologic correlation was available in nine patients suspected of having local tumor recurrence. Additional information recorded included patient demographics, tumor type and location, radiation type, and dose. Results: The study group consisted of 12 men and 12 women, having an average age of 63 years (range, 39-88 years). Primary tumors were malignant fibrous histiocytoma (n∈=∈13), leiomyosarcoma (n∈=∈6), liposarcoma (n∈=∈3), synovial sarcoma (n∈=∈1), and extraskeletal chondrosarcoma (n∈=∈1). All lesions were high-grade sarcomas, except for two myxoid liposarcomas. Average patient radiation dose was 5,658 cGy (range, 4,500-8,040 cGy). Average follow-up time was 63 months (range, 3-204 months). Focal signal abnormalities suggesting local recurrence were seen in nine (38%) patients. Three of the nine patients with these signal abnormalities were surgically proven to have radiation-induced pseudotumor. The pseudotumors developed between 11 and 61 months following the initiation of radiation therapy (mean, 38 months), with an average radiation dose of 5,527 cGy (range, 5,040-6,500 cGy). MR imaging demonstrated a relatively ill-defined ovoid focus of abnormal signal and intense heterogeneous enhancement with little or no associated mass effect. Conclusion: MR imaging of radiation-induced pseudotumor typically demonstrates a relatively ill-defined ovoid mass-like focus of intense heterogeneous enhancement with little or no associated mass effect. Imaging follow-up or biopsy may be an alternative course of action to surgical re-exploration if this diagnosis is considered. The study revealed radiation-induced pseudotumor in 12.5% of patients in our extremity study group, suggesting that radiation-induced pseudotumor may be more prevalent than previously reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-584
Number of pages6
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pseudotumor
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiation-induced pseudotumor
  • Soft tissue tumor
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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