How is liposarcoma classified?

Updated: Mar 18, 2020
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The most recent World Health Organization classification of soft tissue tumors recognizes 5 categories of liposarcomas: (1) well differentiated, which includes the adipocytic, sclerosing, and inflammatory subtypes; (2) dedifferentiated; (3) myxoid; (4) round cell; and (5) pleomorphic.

A spindle-cell variant of well-differentiated liposarcoma is also described. The concept that round-cell liposarcoma represents the high-grade counterpart of myxoid liposarcoma is generally accepted. Spindle-cell liposarcoma is a rare variant of an atypical lipomatous tumor (ie, well-differentiated liposarcoma), and it must be distinguished from a dedifferentiated liposarcoma with metastatic potential and a benign spindle-cell lipoma. The advent of cytogenetic and molecular investigations has contributed to better categorization of this subset of mesenchymal neoplasms. Not only have they provided new insights into the biology of these tumors, but they have also validated the current classification schemes based on conventional morphologic observations. [2, 3, 4, 5]


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