Spindle cell liposarcoma, a hitherto unrecognized variant of liposarcoma. Analysis of six cases

Am J Surg Pathol. 1994 Sep;18(9):913-21. doi: 10.1097/00000478-199409000-00006.


A series of six cases of a previously unrecognized variant of liposarcoma characterized by a prominent spindle cell component is reported herein. Clinically, all of the tumors arose in adults and developed around the shoulder girdle or upper limbs; all but one arose in subcutaneous tissue. Three patients developed multiple local recurrences over a period of 4-20 years. Recurrences in one case were purely lipoma-like. Following dedifferentiation in a recurrence, one patient developed distant metastases and eventually died, 46 months after the primary excision. Grossly, these lesions are characterized by multinodularity, and microscopically they show a relatively bland spindle cell proliferation arranged in fascicles and whorls and set in a variably myxoid stroma. The spindle cell areas are accompanied by an adipocytic component, which exhibits the morphologic features required for inclusion in the well-differentiated liposarcoma-atypical lipoma group, including definite lipoblasts. Main differential diagnoses include benign lesions such as spindle cell lipoma and diffuse neurofibroma, as well as dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans and other malignancies such as sclerosing liposarcoma, low-grade myxofibrosarcoma, low-grade malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, and low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma. In view of their distinctive histologic appearance, and because aggressive clinical behavior was observed despite their superficial location, we propose that these lesions be regarded as spindle cell variants of well-differentiated liposarcoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liposarcoma / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology*