Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging Indian Journal of Radiology and Imaging

: 2002  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 357--358

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)-CT findings in DFSP-a rare skin tumour

R Shrimali, L Garg, V Setia, S Jain 
 Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital, G.T.Road, Sherpur By Pass, Ludhiana, India

Correspondence Address:
R Shrimali
Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Hospital, G.T.Road, Sherpur By Pass, Ludhiana

How to cite this article:
Shrimali R, Garg L, Setia V, Jain S. Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)-CT findings in DFSP-a rare skin tumour.Indian J Radiol Imaging 2002;12:357-358

How to cite this URL:
Shrimali R, Garg L, Setia V, Jain S. Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)-CT findings in DFSP-a rare skin tumour. Indian J Radiol Imaging [serial online] 2002 [cited 2020 Jul 5 ];12:357-358
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Full Text

DFSP is a rare, slow growing cutaneous tumour located predominantly on the skin of trunk.

It has a tendency to recur locally; distant recurrences are infrequent. We report CT findings in a case of DFSP.

 Case Report

A 48 year woman presented with a recurrent lower abdominal swelling which was progressively increasing in size. Clinical examination revealed a firm, 8 x 8cm lump in the infraumbilical and hypogastric area. Excision had been done previously two times (3 yrs and 1 yr back) and biopsy was reported as DFS.

CT examination revealed a large, nodular, well circumscribed, soft tissue attenuation mass, epi-centered in subcutaneous fat of lower anterior abdominal wall in the midline [Figure 1]. The overlying skin was stretched over the mass and was not separately identifiable from the mass. The lesion caused a prominent bulge in the abdominal contour. Posteriorly the lesion was superficial to the rectus muscles and the intervening fat plane was grossly preserved. On IV contrast administration considerable enhancement as well as non enhancing patchy necrotic areas were seen [Figure 2]. The CT findings were consistent with the already histopathologically established diagnosis of DFSP.


Darrier and Fernand [1] first recognized DFSP as a clinicopathological entity and Hoffman [2] introduced the term "DFSP". This disease is more common in men than in women and has a peak incidence during third decade. It may occur at sites of previous trauma. The tumour is most commonly found in the trunk and proximal extremities [3]. Local recurrences occur in 20-55% of cases [4].

DFSP is thought to be of histiocytic or neurogenic origin. Majority of the tumors are histologically characterised by uniform, slender, spindles shaped, fibroblast like cells, arranged in a typical storiform or cartwheel pattern [5].

The tumour first appears as a single, red to bluish, blanchable, firm, cutaneous nodule. During the late stage, rate of growth accelerates, producing the characteristic protrusion from the skin [6]. The growth rate is variable. Lesions may remain stable for many years or they may grow slowly with periods of accelerated growth [7].

The CT appearance of DFSP is well defined, unmineralized, nodular soft tissue mass involving the skin and subcutaneous adipose tissue. CT scans or MR images are well suited to show this location, the relation of lesion to underlying structures and the distinct lobular or nodular architecture [8]. On CT scanning DFSP may be confused with a dermatofibroma, a neurogenic tumour, a fibrosarcoma or a malignant fibrous histiocytoma as the CT findings of these tumors resemble those of DFSP, DFSP displays an almost pathognomonic protrusion from the skin, a feature which distinguished DFSP from other tumors [6].

Arteriography shows mild to moderate hypervascularity. This hypervascularity is most likely responsible for the moderate enhancement seen on CT scans obtained after injection of contrast material [8].

The tumour must be excised with a 3cm or greater margin of uninvolved skin. CT is helpful in deciding the line of incision and avoiding inadequate excision, which leads to local recurrence or metastasis [6]


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