Synovium as a widespread pathway to the adjacent joint in undifferentiated high-grade pleomorphic sarcoma of the tibia: A case report

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Undifferentiated high-grade pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS), originated from bone, is a rare tumor, accounting for 2% to 5% of all primary maligment bone neoplasms. Skip lesion can be found in undifferentiated high-grade pleomorphic sarcoma of bone (UPS-B). However, the direct invasion across the articular synovium to bone has not been reported previously.

Patient concerns:

We report an unusual case of a 65-year-old man complained of a year history of pain, swelling, and limitation of activity in the left knee joint. At the proximal tibia, there was extensive invasion of articular synovium, which provides a direct anatomic pathway for the tumor invasion to the adjacent bone, including patella and femoral condyle.


Magnetic resonance imaging was important in defining the marrow involvement and joint invasion, including the thickening articular synovium. Subsequent pathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of UPS.


The patient underwent an extensive resection of the knee joint, except for the patellar.


After operation, routine chemotherapy was performed. Unfortunately, half a year later, soft tissue swelling of whole thigh was found. Then this patient came our hospital again. Positron emission tomography imaging showed there was recurrence of UPS with lung metastasis. A week later, this patient died.


In contrast to frequent infiltration pathway, the articular synovium as a media for this tumor spread is rare. This study adds a better understanding of this direct invasion way to the medical literature.

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