Soft-tissue tumors and tumorlike lesions: a systematic imaging approach

Radiology. 2009 Nov;253(2):297-316. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2532081199.


Soft-tissue lesions are frequently encountered by radiologists in everyday clinical practice. Characterization of these soft-tissue lesions remains problematic, despite advances in imaging. By systematically using clinical history, lesion location, mineralization on radiographs, and signal intensity characteristics on magnetic resonance images, one can (a) determine the diagnosis for the subset of determinate lesions that have characteristic clinical and imaging features and (b) narrow the differential diagnosis for lesions that demonstrate indeterminate characteristics. If a lesion cannot be characterized as a benign entity, the lesion should be reported as indeterminate, and the patient should undergo biopsy to exclude malignancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Ganglion Cysts / diagnosis
  • Hemangioma / diagnosis
  • Hematoma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Lipoma / diagnosis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Myositis Ossificans / diagnosis
  • Nerve Sheath Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neuroma / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / classification
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnosis*