CT and MRI of superficial solid tumors
Superficial solid masses are common conditions in clinical practice, however, some of which can be easily diagnosed and others would be difficult. Although imaging of superficial masses is not always characteristic, it would be helpful to give a definitive diagnosis or narrow a differential diagnosis. Crossing-section imaging can depicture the masses directly, find some pathognomonic signs and demonstrate their relationship with adjacent structures, which can provide decision support for clinician’s reference. Computed tomography (CT) can be used to detect calcifications and bone erosion which could not be seen on radiographs. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the preferred way for evaluating soft tissue lesions and provides information on hemorrhage, necrosis, edema, cystic and myxoid degeneration, and fibrosis. Other advantages of MRI are its superior soft tissue resolution and any profile imaging, which can aid the assessment of extension and adjacent infiltration. Positron emission tomography (PET)/CT and PET/MRI have been increasingly used in bone and soft tissue sarcomas and provides advantages in the initial tumor staging, tumor grading, therapy assessment, and recurrence detection. Therefore, imaging examination can play an important role in treatment decision making for superficial solid tumors. Here we review the important conditions presenting as superficial mass and show the imaging of typical cases diagnosed in our hospital.