Neoplasms and tumorlike lesions that originate from chest wall tissues are uncommon compared with tumors in other parts of the body, and unfamiliarity with these disease entities can cause diagnostic difficulties for radiologists. Furthermore, the imaging features of many of these tumors are nonspecific, particularly those that are locally aggressive. However, a systematic approach based on patient age, clinical history, lesion location, and characteristic imaging findings often helps limit the differential diagnosis. Primary chest wall tumors can be classified as bone or soft-tissue tumors, with the latter being further classified into adipocytic tumors, vascular tumors, peripheral nerve sheath tumors, cutaneous lesions, fibroblastic-myofibroblastic tumors, and socalled fibrohistiocytic tumors, largely based on the 2002 World Health Organization classification. Within each category, it is possible to further limit the differential diagnosis with cross-sectional imaging. Information on specific features (eg, mineralization, fibrosis, hemosiderin deposits) and imaging patterns (eg, the "target sign" and "fascicular sign" seen in neurogenic tumors) can aid in making the diagnosis. Radiologists can achieve a sufficiently specific diagnosis of bone tumors and soft-tissue tumors if typical findings are present.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging