Finding a soft tissue mass in the superficial regions is a common event in daily clinical practice. Correct management of the diagnostic process is crucial to avoid blunders. Diagnosis is posed by pathology, although both imaging and a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms play an important a role in the characterization, staging and follow-up of soft tissue masses. Cellular and molecular mechanisms can explain either the development of chemo-resistance and the underlying pre- and post-surgery metastasis formation. These are mandatory to improve prognosis and unveil novel parameters predicting therapeutic response. Imaging mainly involves ultrasound and MR and is fundamental not only in diagnosis but also in the first step of therapy: the biopsy. Novel imaging techniques like Ultrasound Elastosonography, Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MR imaging (DCE), Diffusion Weighted MR imaging (DWI) and MR Spectroscopy (MRS) are discussed. This paper aims at reviewing and discussing pathological methods and imaging in the diagnosis of soft tissue masses underscoring that the most appropriate treatment depends on advanced molecular and radiological studies.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Molecular imaging
- Signalling pathways
- Ultrasound elastosonography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology