Fibrous hamartoma of infancy: imaging findings

Pediatr Radiol. 2023 Sep;53(10):2048-2053. doi: 10.1007/s00247-023-05701-x. Epub 2023 Jun 21.


Background: Fibrous hamartoma of infancy is a benign tumor that typically arises within the first 2 years of life in the subcutaneous and lower dermal layers. Diagnosis can be challenging as it is a rare tumor, and the imaging appearance is not well known.

Objective: To describe the imaging features in 4 cases of fibrous hamartoma of infancy focusing on ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance (MR) findings.

Materials and methods: In this retrospective IRB-approved study, informed consent was waived. We searched patient charts for histopathology-confirmed fibrous hamartoma of infancy diagnosis between November 2013 and November 2022. We found four cases, three boys and one girl, and the mean age was 1.4 years (5 months-3 years). The lesions were located in the axilla, posterior elbow, posterior neck, and lower back. All four patients underwent ultrasound evaluation of the lesion, and two patients also underwent MRI evaluation. The imaging findings were reviewed by consensus by two pediatric radiologists.

Results: US imaging revealed subcutaneous lesions with variably defined hyperechoic regions and intervening hypoechoic bands resulting in a linear "serpentine" pattern or a "multiple semicircle" pattern. MR imaging evidenced heterogeneous soft tissue masses, localized in the subcutaneous fat, and showed hyperintense fat interspersed with hypointense septations on both T1- and T2-weighted images.

Conclusion: Fibrous hamartoma of infancy has a suggestive appearance on US with heterogeneous, echogenic subcutaneous lesions with intervening hypoechoic portions, in parallel or circumferential arrangement that can be seen as a serpentine or semicircular pattern. On MRI, interspersed macroscopic fatty components show high signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted images and reduced signal on fat-suppressed inversion recovery images, with irregular peripheral enhancement.

Keywords: Fibrous hamartoma of infancy; Histology; Imaging findings; Magnetic resonance imaging.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Hamartoma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Neck
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms*