Soft-tissue sarcomas are a diverse group of rare mesenchymal malignancies accounting for only 1% of all solid adult malignancies. These have been categorized in 12 broad groups by the World Health Organization (WHO) with their recent update in 2013. Majority of them lack specific imaging features serving as imaging conundrums for a radiologist. These are often large masses at presentation as they are asymptomatic or cause vague clinical symptoms. These tumors are challenging for surgeons as well as they find it difficult to achieve complete resection because of complex intra-abdominal anatomy and their close relationship with critical structures. Often, a multidisciplinary approach is required to decide on the most appropriate management for these complex cases so as to provide optimal patient care. Knowledge of the WHO classification, pathologic features, and treatment options available helps the radiologist make a meaningful contribution in multidisciplinary discussions of such cases and overall patient care. Liposarcoma (well-differentiated and dedifferentiated liposarcomas), leiomyosarcoma, and gastrointestinal stromal tumor are the 3 most common primary intra-abdominal sarcomas. In part 1 of this article, general features of soft-tissue sarcomas and some of the common tumors from WHO category 1-4 found in abdomen and pelvis are discussed. Part 2 will focus on common tumors from remainder of the WHO categories.
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