Retroperitoneal leiomyosarcoma

Dr Craig Hacking and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Retroperitoneal leiomyosarcomaleiomyosarcoma arising within the retroperitoneum, is one of the commonest primary retroperitoneal neoplasms. The retroperitoneum is considered the most common extra uterine site for leiomyosarcoma. 

Symptoms are often non-specific with abdominal pain being on of the most frequent complaints. The tumors can reach large sizes at time of detection. 

They arise from smooth muscle within arteries, veins or bowel. The most frequent site is the IVC (50%), and they are more common in women.

They can be:

  • completely extra-vascular: 62%
  • completely intra-vascular: 5%
  • have extra- and intra-luminal components: 33%

Metastases to liver and lung are common when the tumor is intravascular.

Like other sarcomas, imaging findings are non-specific. Retroperitoneal leiomyosarcomas tend to develop massive cystic components which undergo degeneration. Unlike other sarcomas, fat and calcification are not typically present.

  • T1: intermediate to low signal intensity
  • T2: intermediate to high signal intensity
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Article information

rID: 6337
System: Oncology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Retroperitoneal leiomyosarcomas
  • Leiomyosarcoma of the retroperitoneum

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2: IVC
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