Can the MRI signal of aggressive fibromatosis be used to predict its behavior?

G. Castellazzi, D. Vanel, A. Le Cesne, C. Le Pechoux, H. Caillet, F. Perona, S. Bonvalot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Aggressive fibromatosis is an invasive non-metastasizing soft-tissue tumor. Until recently, the standard treatment combined surgery and radiation therapy, but new studies reported that conservative strategies with or without medical treatment could be the best management. The aim of this study was to analyze and correlate the size and MR imaging signal features of aggressive fibromatosis with its behavior in order to choose the best treatment. Materials and methods: Between March 1985 and December 2005, 27 patients with at least 2 consecutive MRI examinations and no surgery or radiation therapy in between were recorded. There were 9 men and 18 women, and median age was 31 years. They underwent 107 MRI examinations of 47 lesions, 29 of which were medically treated, while the remaining 18 did not receive any drug administration. The size and signal changes of each lesion were studied over time on T2- and/or T1-weighted sequences after injection of contrast medium. RECIST criteria were used for size: only a 30% decrease or a 20% increase in the size of the main dimension was considered significant. We classified the appearance of the signal into six categories in order of increasing intensity and then we established the related variations over time. Results: The size of 79% of the lesions in the treated group and 82% in the untreated group remained stable. The initial signal of stable lesions or those exhibiting an increase in size was most frequently high. There was a high rate of signal stability over time, whatever the initial signal and size changes. Changes in size were not correlated with the initial MR signal. A decrease in size associated with a decreased signal was observed in three cases exclusively in the treated group. Conclusion: Fibromatoses are a group of soft-tissue tumors with variable characteristics on MRI, but it is not possible to predict their behavior based on the MRI signal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Aggressive Fibromatosis
  • MRI
  • Signal
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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