Elastofibroma dorsi – differential diagnosis in chest wall tumours

Department of Plastic Surgery, Burn Center, Hand Center, Sarcoma Reference Center, BG-Hospital Bergmannsheil, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44789 Bochum, Germany.
World Journal of Surgical Oncology (Impact Factor: 1.2). 02/2007; 5:15. DOI: 10.1186/1477-7819-5-15
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Elastofibromas are benign soft tissue tumours mostly of the infrascapular region between the thoracic wall, the serratus anterior and the latissimus dorsi muscle with a prevalence of up to 24% in the elderly. The pathogenesis of the lesion is still unclear, but repetitive microtrauma by friction between the scapula and the thoracic wall may cause the reactive hyperproliferation of fibroelastic tissue.
We present a series of seven cases with elastofibroma dorsi with reference to clinical findings, further clinical course and functional results after resection, as well as recurrence. Data were obtained retrospectively by clinical examination, phone calls to the patients' general practitioners and charts review. Follow-up time ranged from four months to nine years and averaged 53 months.
The patients presented with swelling of the infrascapular region or snapping scapula. In three cases, the lesion was painful. The ratio men/women was 2/5 with a mean age of 64 years. The tumor sizes ranged from 3 to 13 cm. The typical macroscopic aspect was characterized as poorly defined fibroelastic soft tissue lesion with a white and yellow cut surface caused by intermingled remnants of fatty tissue. Microscopically, the lesions consisted of broad collagenous strands and densely packed enlarged and fragmented elastic fibres with mostly round shapes. In all patients but one, postoperative seroma (which had to be punctuated) occurred after resection; however, at follow-up time, no patient reported any decrease of function or sensation at the shoulder or the arm of the operated side. None of the patients experienced a relapse.
In differential diagnosis of soft tissue tumors located at this specific site, elastofibroma should be considered as likely diagnosis. Due to its benign behaviour, the tumor should be resected only in symptomatic patients.


Available from: Adrien Daigeler, Apr 17, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Elastofibromas are benign soft tissue tumors. They occur mostly in the infrascapular region between the thoracic wall, the serratus anterior and the latissimus dorsi muscle, with a prevalence of up to 24% in the elderly. The etiology of this lesion remains uncertain and is a source of ongoing debate. We herein report a 54-year-old female patient, manual worker who presented with bilateral subscapular slow growing tumors for 7 months. Physical examination showed two masses of 4 cm in diameter on the right, and 8 cm on the left, both located inferior to the inferior margin of the scapula. They were more or less firm and mobile on palpation. Computed tomography scan showed large fusiform subscapular soft tissue heterogeneous solid masses with linear areas of low density secondary to fat. The lesions measured 5 cm × 4 cm on the right side and 8 cm × 8 cm on the left. Resection of the largest left tumor was achieved. Macroscopic and histological findings were consistent with elastofibroma.
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    ABSTRACT: Elastofibroma dorsi(EFD) is slow-growing, benign, soft tissue tumor of unclear pathogenesis, typically located at the subscapular region of elderly people. It may be unilateral or bilateral. As it exhibits benign behavior, it should be surgically removed only in symptomatic patients. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a useful tool for assessment of EFD and can potentially help avoid the need for unnecessary biopsy and surgery. A 62-year-old woman presented with 2 years complaint of back pain, particularly aggravated with shoulder movements and swelling with bilateral elastofibroma dorsi. Both masses were totally excised with bilateral posterolateral subscapular incision. Symptoms were completely controlled and significant discomfort from the surgical procedure was completely resolved with in a few weeks interval from the operation. The pathogenesis of the EFD still remains unclear. Elastofibroma dorsi has an unspecific clinical presentation and can be confused with other tumors of the periscapular region Imaging studies are useful for diagnosis. Elastofibroma dorsi is benign soft tissue tumor mostly observed in the subscapular regions of elderly female patients. The surgery is indicated in symptomatic cases and must be confined to simple excision of the lesion. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
    11/2014; 5(12):1139-1141. DOI:10.1016/j.ijscr.2014.10.032
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    ABSTRACT: We report a case of an 86-year-old man diagnosed with bilateral elastofibroma dorsi who was managed conservatively after a two year follow-up. An elastofibroma dorsi is a benign, slow-growing tumor that is most often located in the inferior periscapular area in elderly patients. It should be considered to differentiate them from other soft tissue tumors located at the inferior periscapular region. Increased awareness of these characteristics will decrease the incidence of a misdiagnosis of elastofibroma dorsi as a malignancy and avoid unnecessary surgery.
    12/2007; 10(2). DOI:10.5397/CiSE.2007.10.2.241