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Retroperitoneal liposarcoma

Retroperitoneal liposarcoma is a sub type of liposarcoma, a malignant tumour of mesenchymal origin that may arise in any fat-containing region of the body. It is one of the most common primary retroperitoneal neoplasms 2.

There are five histological types:

  • well-differentiated: ~54%, low grade
    • lipoma-like
    • inflammatory
    • sclerosing
  • myxoid: ~31%, low to intermediate grade
  • pleomorphic: high grade
  • round cell: high grade
  • dedifferentiated: high grade

Metastatic disease is haematogenous and the extent of metastases is related to the histological grade of the tumour.

Radiographic features

  • heterogenous mass
  • varying amount of fat and soft tissue
  • multiple septae
  • enhancing soft tissue components
  • myxoid: hyperintense on T2WI with delayed post-contrast enhancement


The primary treatment option is resection if possible. However, local recurrence is common and occurs in 2/3 of patients. This is usually a sign of incomplete resection and highlights the difficulty in discriminating liposarcomas from normal retroperitoneal fat.

Differential diagnosis

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