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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
January 2003

Radiology Quiz Case 2—Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(1):132-133. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.1.130

Liposarcoma is the second most common soft tissue sarcoma in adults. The incidence of liposarcoma of the head and neck is low, representing only 5.6% of more than 1000 cases from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC.1 The vast majority of liposarcomas are found in the extremities and retroperitoneum. Liposarcoma was originally described by Virchow2 in 1857, and classified by Ewing3 in 1935. The majority of cases occur in the fourth to sixth decades of life, with a male preponderance reported in the majority of review articles.4 In the head and neck area, the most common site of presentation is the neck (28%), followed by the larynx (20%) and pharynx (18%). Response to therapy is dependent on the location of the tumor, with 5-year survival rates significantly lower for patients with liposarcoma of the retroperitoneum than for those with liposarcoma in the extremities. Patients with liposarcoma in the head and neck region appear to have a more favorable prognosis. Liposarcoma of the retroperitoneum portends a poor prognosis.

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