Predictive value of gadolinium enhancement in differentiating ALT/WD liposarcomas from benign fatty tumors
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the predictive value of gadolinium enhancement on MRI in differentiating atypical lipomatous tumor (ALT)/well-differentiated (WD) liposarcoma from benign fatty tumors. DESIGN: All histologically proven fatty tumors with preoperative gadolinium-enhanced MRI were reviewed. Only those tumors with predominantly fatty signal were included. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for both gadolinium enhancement and biopsy as predictors for the final diagnosis of ALT/WD liposarcoma were calculated. PATIENTS: From 129 patients evaluated for fatty tumors between 1994 and 2002, the patient population was narrowed to 32 excised fatty tumors with preoperative gadolinium-enhanced MRI. RESULTS: As a predictor of ALT/WD liposarcoma, the presence of gadolinium enhancement showed 100% sensitivity, 71% specificity, 53% positive predictive value and 100% negative predictive value. Needle or incisional biopsy yielded 57% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100% positive predictive value and 63% negative predictive value for a diagnosis of ALT/WD liposarcoma. CONCLUSIONS: Gadolinium enhancement of a homogeneous fatty soft tissue tumor is a sensitive screening tool to determine possible diagnosis of ALT/WD liposarcoma. Biopsy, on the other hand, is specific but insensitive.
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