Well-Differentiated/Dedifferentiated Liposarcoma Arising in the Upper Aerodigestive Tract: 8 Cases Mimicking Non-adipocytic Lesions

Karen Fritchie, Toshi Ghosh, Rondell P. Graham, Anja C. Roden, David Schembri-Wismayer, Andrew Folpe, Michael Rivera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Well-differentiated (WDL) and dedifferentiated liposarcomas (DL) of the pharynx, larynx and oral cavity are rare, often mimicking benign lipomatous neoplasms or non-lipogenic mesenchymal tumors. Cases of WDL/DL arising in the upper aerodigestive tract, exclusive of the cervical esophagus, were reviewed. Morphologic features, ancillary studies, including fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) studies for CPM/MDM2, and clinical data was catalogued. Eight WDL/DL (4 WDL, 4 DL); were identified in patients ranging from 32 to 77 years (median 52.5 years; 6 males, 2 females) with sites of origin including hypopharynx (5 cases), larynx (2 cases) and oral cavity (1 case). Six of the 8 cases were received for expert consultation, and the remaining 2 cases were initially misdiagnosed as benign lymphangiomatous or fibroepithelial polyps. Morphologically, 4 tumors had areas mimicking various non-lipomatous soft tissue tumors including nodular fasciitis, mammary-type myofibroblastoma, low-grade myofibroblastic sarcoma and undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, 2 cases simulated benign hypopharyngeal polyps, and 1 lesion was notable for a dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate suggestive of hematolymphoid neoplasm or IgG4-related sclerosing disease. FISH showed amplification of CPM/MDM2 (8/8 cases). All cases (4/4) with longer than 1-year of follow-up recurred (45–118 months) with 1 tumor showing progression to DL. WDL/DL presenting in the upper aerodigestive tract are rare and diagnostically challenging. Awareness of the morphologic spectrum of WDL/DL coupled with appropriate use of MDM2 FISH is essential for accurate classification and management, as these tumors appear to have a high risk for local recurrence and eventual dedifferentiation in these anatomical locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)974-981
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Hypopharynx
  • Larynx
  • Liposarcoma
  • MDM2
  • Upper aerodigestive tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Oncology


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