Myxoid leiomyosarcoma of soft tissue, an underrecognized variant

Am J Surg Pathol. 2000 Jul;24(7):927-36. doi: 10.1097/00000478-200007000-00004.


Myxoid leiomyosarcoma is an uncommon tumor which, although previously well described in the uterus, is recognized to a lesser extent at other sites. We describe 18 cases of soft tissue leiomyosarcoma in which myxoid stroma occupied >50% of the tissue examined. Patients ranged in age from 22 to 84 years old (median, 57.5 yrs) and female patients outnumbered male patients 14 to 4. Tumor locations included the limbs (6 cases), female external genitalia (4 cases), head and neck region (3 cases), chest (2 cases), nipple, paratesticular soft tissue, and perineum (one case each). The tumors had a grossly gelatinous appearance and adopted three major histologic architectures: fascicular, reticular/microcystic, and "myxofibrosarcoma-like." The tumor cells were predominantly spindled in all cases with typical features of smooth muscle differentiation; there was a mixture of spindle and epithelioid cells in one case. No cases with pure epithelioid cytology were seen. All tumors displayed immunoreactivity for smooth muscle markers (smooth muscle actin 16/17, desmin 8/18) and, in addition, four cases were positive for keratin CAM 5.2 and three for epithelial membrane antigen. The tumors had a tendency to be morphologically lower grade (9 tumors were grade I, 8 were grade II, and only 1 was grade III). Follow up was available in 13 patients with a duration of 8 months to 41 years (median, 39 mos), and revealed local recurrences (often repeated) in five cases and metastases in two cases. There were three tumor-related deaths, of which two were the result of uncontrolled local disease. The differential diagnosis of myxoid leiomyosarcoma is broad and encompasses both benign and malignant lesions. Accurate diagnosis is critical because therapies may differ widely for entities in the differential diagnosis of myxoid leiomyosarcoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Leiomyosarcoma / chemistry
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / surgery


  • Biomarkers, Tumor