What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS)?

Updated: Mar 28, 2019
  • Author: Roshni Dasgupta, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Eugene S Kim, MD, FACS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

The goal of the evaluation in a patient with a suspected RMS should be to define the local extent of the tumor (ie, its resectability), the degree of lymph node involvement, and the rpesence or absence of distant metastasis.

CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the primary tumor is necessary to assess the size of the tumor and its extension into adjacent structures. These studies also assist in narrowing the differential diagnosis. PET-CT may prove valuable in the staging and preoperative evaluation of pediatric RMS. [25]

A bone scan is performed to rule out metastatic disease to the skeletal structures. CT of the chest is also recommended to rule out metastasis to the pulmonary parenchyma.

Echocardiography should be performed in all patients as a baseline study before the initiation of chemotherapy with cardiotoxic side effects.


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