Intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumors: CT findings and clinicopathological correlations in 13 cases

Malik Chouli, Juliette Viala, Clarisse Dromain, Karim Fizazi, Pierre Duvillard, Daniel Vanel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We report computed tomography (CT) findings in 13 patients with a primary abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumor. Materials and methods: 13 cases (12 men, 1 woman, mean age = 24.8 years) were found in our hospital database between 1991 and 2003. Clinical, CT and histopathological features were studied retrospectively. Results: Peritoneal involvement was the most common feature. In 10 cases, several lobulated peritoneal soft tissue masses (with a mean of four masses per patient) were seen. Two patients had diffused irregular peritoneal carcinomatosis without any distinct peritoneal masses. One patient had a solitary mass in the pelvic space. The main sites of peritoneal involvement were the pelvic space (n = 7), omentum (n = 5), retroperitoneal space (n = 4), small bowel mesentery (n = 3), paracolic gutter (n = 2 on the right and n = 1 on the left), transverse colon mesentery (n = 1), peri-splenic space (n = 1), peri-hepatic space (n = 1). The soft tissue masses were often bulky (mean 6 cm, range 1-28 cm), lobulated and heterogeneous with hypodense areas (in 73% of cases). In six cases, moderate ascites was seen. In one case of pelvic involvement, unilateral hydronephrosis was seen. Adenopathies were present in seven cases at the time of the diagnosis (at intraperitoneal, retroperitoneal and pelvic sites in six patients and in the groin in one patient). Five patients had liver metastases (four lesions per case excepted one patient with 30 metastases). Associated thoracic metastases were seen in three patients. The diagnosis was confirmed with four CT-guided percutaneous biopsies. Conclusion: Although CT features are nonspecific, the diagnosis of desmoplastic small round cell tumor may be suspected in young men with multiple bulky heterogeneous peritoneal soft tissue masses. Imaging is useful for staging and also to guide biopsies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-442
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • CT
  • Oncology
  • Small round cell desmoplastic tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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