Angioleiomyoma of the extremities: correlation of magnetic resonance imaging with histopathological findings in 25 cases

Skeletal Radiol. 2022 Apr;51(4):837-848. doi: 10.1007/s00256-021-03888-4. Epub 2021 Aug 31.


Objective: To identify the characteristic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in angioleiomyoma and to clarify its relationship with histopathological findings.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively analyzed the MRI findings and pathological subtypes in 25 patients with subcutaneous angioleiomyoma of the extremities. Based on the previous reports, MRI findings that could be characteristic of angioleiomyoma were extracted. According to the World Health Organization classification, all cases were classified into three pathological subtypes: solid, venous, and cavernous. The relationship between MRI findings and pathological subtypes was analyzed.

Results: The pathological subtypes were solid (n = 10), venous (n = 11), and cavernous (n = 4). The following MRI findings were observed: (a) hypo- or iso-intense linear and/or branching structures on a T2-weighted image (positive total/solid/venous/cavernous: 19/5/10/4, respectively), which we defined as "dark reticular sign"; (b) peripheral hypointense rim on a T2-weighted image (positive total/solid/venous/cavernous: 19/7/8/4, respectively); and (c) presence of any adjacent vascular structures (positive total/solid/venous/cavernous: 6/3/3/0, respectively). Chi-square test showed a significant relationship between dark reticular sign and pathological subtypes (p = 0.0426). The dark reticular sign was found more frequently in the venous and cavernous types than in the solid type. The other MRI findings did not reveal a significant relationship between pathological subtypes.

Conclusion: We present the largest case series exploring MRI findings in angioleiomyoma. The dark reticular sign was a characteristic MRI finding of angioleiomyoma and was seen in most of the venous and cavernous types, which may facilitate preoperative diagnosis.

Keywords: Angioleiomyoma; Extremities; MRI.

MeSH terms

  • Angiomyoma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Angiomyoma* / pathology
  • Extremities / diagnostic imaging
  • Extremities / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subcutaneous Tissue