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Liposarcoma Follow-up

  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Feb 04, 2016


A case report describes liposarcoma complicating pregnancy.[28]



The prognosis is affected by the type of liposarcoma present. In general, survival for extremity tumors is favorable.[29] The histologic grade of localized liposarcomas of the extremities may be the most important prognostic factor.[30]

The well-differentiated type and most myxoid types have favorable prognoses, with 100% and 88% 5-year survival rates, respectively.[31] However, these tumors are poorly circumscribed and locally recur after incomplete excision. Although they rarely metastasize, repeated local recurrences may cause the tumor to evolve into a higher grade of sarcoma or to dedifferentiate, in which case metastasis is possible.

The form that a dermatologist is most likely to examine at biopsy is 1 of the 3 subtypes of a well-differentiated liposarcoma, that is, the lipomalike liposarcoma or atypical lipoma; the other 2, inflammatory and sclerosing, are less likely. The clinical outcome of this subtype is best predicted by the anatomical location. In the subcutis, lipomalike liposarcomas are often cured with local excision. Lipomalike liposarcomas rarely recur, and they do not metastasize. Use of the term atypical lipomatous tumor, a less serious designation for atypical lipoma, has been suggested.

Round-cell and poorly differentiated types have a poor prognosis. Each has a 5-year survival rate of about 50% because they recur locally and tend to metastasize quickly and widely, especially in poorly differentiated liposarcomas. The lungs and the liver are the most common sites of metastasis. .

Despite high-grade morphology, cutaneous liposarcomas have a favorable clinical prognosis.

For soft tissue sarcoma involving the popliteal fossa, despite a high rate of microscopically positive margins, the local recurrence rate reported is only 7%.[32]

Cutaneous and subcutaneous pleomorphic liposarcomas have a more favorable outcome compared with their deep-seated counterparts, a fact attributable to their small size and superficial location.[10]

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Santiago A Centurion, MD Dermatologist, Dermatology Associates of Central NJ

Santiago A Centurion, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, American Society of Dermatopathology, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jeffrey P Callen, MD Professor of Medicine (Dermatology), Chief, Division of Dermatology, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Jeffrey P Callen, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: XOMA; Biogen/IDEC; Novartis; Janssen Biotech, Abbvie, CSL pharma<br/>Received honoraria from UpToDate for author/editor; Received honoraria from JAMA Dermatology for associate editor and intermittent author; Received royalty from Elsevier for book author/editor; Received dividends from trust accounts, but I do not control these accounts, and have directed our managers to divest pharmaceutical stocks as is fiscally prudent from Stock holdings in various trust accounts include some pharmaceutical companies and device makers for i inherited these trust accounts; for: Celgene; Pfizer; 3M; Johnson and Johnson; Merck; Abbott Laboratories; AbbVie; Procter and Gamble; Amgen.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Jacek C Szepietowski, MD, PhD Professor, Vice-Head, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wroclaw Medical University; Director of the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Orfagen for consulting; Received consulting fee from Maruho for consulting; Received consulting fee from Astellas for consulting; Received consulting fee from Abbott for consulting; Received consulting fee from Leo Pharma for consulting; Received consulting fee from Biogenoma for consulting; Received honoraria from Janssen for speaking and teaching; Received honoraria from Medac for speaking and teaching; Received consulting fee from Dignity Sciences for consulting; .


Matthew J Trovato, MD Fellow, Division of Plastic Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Computed tomography (CT) scan of a left thigh shows a huge mass (arrows) with predominant fat attenuation. The central soft-tissue component (asterisk) and thick, internal septations are consistent with liposarcoma.
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