Can Abdominal Computed Tomography Imaging Help Accurately Identify a Dedifferentiated Component in a Well-Differentiated Liposarcoma?

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To assess the ability of computed tomography (CT) to differentiate an atypical lipomatous tumor/well-differentiated liposarcoma (WDLPS) from a WDLPS with a dedifferentiated component (DDLPS) within it.

Materials and Methods

Forty-nine untreated patients with abdominal atypical lipomatous tumors/well-differentiated liposarcomas who had undergone contrast-enhanced CT were identified using an institutional database. Three radiologists who were blinded to the pathology findings evaluated all the images independently to determine whether a dedifferentiated component was present within the WDLPS. The CT images were evaluated for fat content (≤25% or >25%); presence of ground-glass density, enhancing and/or necrotic nodules; presence of a capsule surrounding the mass; septations; and presence and pattern of calcifications. A multivariate logistic regression model with generalized estimating equations was used to correlate imaging features with pathology findings. Kappa statistics were calculated to assess agreement between the three radiologists.


On the basis of pathological findings, 12 patients had been diagnosed with DDLPS within a WDLPS and 37 had been diagnosed with WDLPS. The presence of an enhancing or a centrally necrotic nodule within the atypical lipomatous tumor was associated with dedifferentiated liposarcoma (P = 0.02 and P = 0.0003, respectively). The three readers showed almost perfect agreement in overall diagnosis (κ r = 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.67–0.99).


An enhancing or centrally necrotic nodule may be indicative of a dedifferentiated component in well-differentiated liposarcoma. Ground-glass density nodules may not be indicative of dedifferentiation.

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