Imaging patterns in elastofibroma dorsi

M. Battaglia, D. Vanel, P. Pollastri, A. Balladelli, M. Alberghini, E. L. Staals, C. Monti, S. Galletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Elastofibroma dorsi is a rare pseudotumor of the soft tissues. Its clinico-radiologic characteristics lead to a correct diagnosis. Material and methods: We followed 43 patients with elastofibroma dorsi with a confirmed histological diagnosis or on the basis of typical imaging pattern (ultrasound, CT, MR) confirmed by evolution. Results: Elastofibroma is prevalent in females, its onset occurs around 60 years of age and is most frequently localized in the deep subscapular region (93%), bilateral in 54% of cases. In 7% it was found in an atypical isolated suprascapular region, in 7% it was synchronous to that in the subscapular region. Four ultrasound patterns were detected: Type I (54%) inhomogeneous fasciculated, Type II (22%) inhomogeneous aspecific, Type III (15%) hyperechogeneous, Type IV (9%) hypoechogeneous. Three patterns were detected at CT and MR: Type A (84%) inhomogeneous fasciculated corresponding to Types I and III and partially to Type II ultrasound pattern, Type B (8%) inhomogeneous aspecific corresponding to Type II ultrasound pattern; Type C (8%) homogeneous isodense or isointense to the muscle corresponding to Type IV ultrasound pattern. Conclusion: A solid, slow-growing lesion, in the deep periscapular region in females aged between 50 and 60 years, with a typical fasciculated pattern is pathognomonic of elastofibroma dorsi and bilateral location convalidates diagnosis. Ultrasound is sufficient to orientate diagnosis. CT and/or MR are reserved only for non-fasciculated ultrasound patterns, when site is atypical or in candidates for surgery. Biopsy is reserved only in cases where integrated imaging shows a non-fasciculated pattern to differentiate it from other malignant lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Elastofibroma dorsi
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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