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: 1.41). 02/2007; 5(1):15. DOI: 10.1186/1477-7819-5-15
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "The treatment of ED remains controversial. Excision may be offered to symptomatic patients, with curative marginal resection proving to be sufficient and preferred over radical resection; conservative treatment is recommended in elderly, asymptomatic patients because malignant transformation has not been reported [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to investigate the epidemiological, clinical, paraclinical, and treatment aspects of elastofibroma dorsi through a retrospective study of 76 patients who underwent surgery between January 2008 and December 2012 in our department. Our study is retrospective between January 2008 and December 2012. We admitted 79 patients with a subscapular mass, and only 76 patients had ED. The others (n=2) had high associated risk of anesthesia and were managed by a medical treatment and one patient had a subscapular sclerotic hemangioma. The average age of the patients was 49 years (range, 38 to 70 years), with a female predominance (54 females and 22 males). Subscapular location was constant. The right, left, and bilateral form was noted in 41, 15 and 20 cases, respectively. The diagnosis was clinical in 60 cases. Ultrasound and computerized tomography scans confirmed the diagnosis of an ill-defined mass in a subscapular location in all cases. Surgical treatment consisted of complete resection of the mass. The clinical diameter of the mass remained significantly lower than that of the surgical specimen (7 cm versus 12 cm) because the major hidden part of the mass in the subscapular area was inaccessible to palpation. Complications were noted in 9 cases (11.8%), seroma in 8 cases (10.5%), infection of wound site in 4 cases (5%), and parietal textilome in one case (1%). No case of recurrence was noted. Surgery of elastofibroma is unique because of the subscapular location of the parietal tumor, whose histological fibrous nature makes it very adherent to the chest wall.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Korean Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
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    • "We observed no recurrences on the operation site but interestingly 2 patients developed a new ED on the contralateral site of the operation and these 2 patients were manual labourers. Only a few studies45678910111213141516171819 have reported on the outcomes of surgical treatment of ED (Table 2). In a series of 71 patients who underwent complete excision of ED, with similar outcomes, with a tumour size between 3 and 14 cm, complications of 16.7% and no recurrence at follow-up, have been reported [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Elastofibroma dorsi (ED) is a rare, benign lesion arising from connective tissue, usually found at the inferior pole of the scapula. To date, only a few small series have been reported in the English literature and there are few data about the long-term outcomes after surgery. Our goal is to contribute a better understanding of this tumour and to determine the long-term outcomes after surgery. Sixteen patients with a diagnosis of ED were identified from the unit's database. The clinical presentation, diagnosis, pathological evidences and long-term outcomes were evaluated. There were 11 females and 5 males with a mean age of 61.1 years (range 38-78 years). The tumour was located on the right in 5 (31.2%) patients, on the left in 6 (37.5%) patients and bilaterally in 5 (31.2%). Six patients had painful scapular swelling resulting in restriction of movement of the shoulder whereas 10 reported only painful scapular mass. All 16 patients underwent complete resections. The tumour size ranged from 3 to 15 cm. The mean hospital stay was 3.1 ± 1.4 days with a morbidity of 18.75% (seroma observed in 3 patients). The mean follow-up was 58.4 ± 29.5 months (range 11-92 months). In 2 patients (12.5%) a new occurrence on the contralateral side was observed at the follow-up. Elastofibroma dorsi is a rare, ill-defined, pseudotumoural lesion of the soft tissues. Surgical treatment can be proposed if the lesion is symptomatic. Furthermore, at the follow-up, the possibility of new occurrences on the contralateral side should be kept in mind.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
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    • "Recurrence is extremely rare and probably the result of incomplete excision [27] [31]. However, no case of malignant transformation has ever been described [2] [34] "
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    ABSTRACT: Elastofibroma dorsi (ED) is an uncommon, slow-growing, benign, soft tissue tumor of unclear pathogenesis, typically located at the subscapular region of elderly people. It may be unilateral or bilateral. Though many patients are asymptomatic, ED can cause local deformity and symptoms such as periscapular pain or discomfort. Herein we report a case of a 65-year-old woman with painful ED. Clinical features, radiodiagnostic, intraoperative, and pathologic findings, and a brief review of the literature are performed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013
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