Diagnosing intramuscular myxoma by fine-needle aspiration: A multidisciplinary approach

Authors

  • Nancy P. Caraway M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology, Section of Cytology, Department of Radiology, and Department of General Surgery, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
    • Department of Pathology, Box 53, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030
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  • Gregg A. Staerkel M.D.,

    1. Department of Pathology, Section of Cytology, Department of Radiology, and Department of General Surgery, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
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  • Christina V. Fanning M.D.,

    1. Department of Pathology, Section of Cytology, Department of Radiology, and Department of General Surgery, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
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  • Datla G. Varma M.D.,

    1. Department of Pathology, Section of Cytology, Department of Radiology, and Department of General Surgery, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
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  • Raphael E. Pollock M.D.

    1. Department of Pathology, Section of Cytology, Department of Radiology, and Department of General Surgery, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
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Abstract

The gross and microscopic appearances of aspirates from ten intramuscular myxomas are reported. The specimens were obtained from seven women and three men, ages 43 to 75, who had tumors involving the muscles of the thigh (7), upper arm (2), and forearm (1). Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging performed in six of the ten cases revealed well-defined, sharply demarcated tumors exhibiting low signal intensity relative to muscle on the T1-weighted images. The tumors were hyperintense to muscle on T2-weighted images. All aspirated tissues were clear, tenacious, and viscous. Smears contained few spindled and histiocytoid cells in an abundant mucoid background. Spindle cells demonstrated long cytoplasmic processes that in areas intertwined to form fibrillar tangles. Nuclei were oval to spindled with fine chromatin and inconspicuous nucleoli. Capillaries were sparse with simple (nonplexiform) branching. The differential diagnosis of myxoid lesions of the extremities includes benign entities such as myxoid schwannoma and neurofibroma, mesenchymal repair, and ganglion cyst, as well as malignant neoplasms such as myxoid liposarcoma, fibrosarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and extraskeletal chondrosarcoma. The findings of this study revealed that, although the cytologic features were suggestive of intramuscular myxoma, a definitive diagnosis was often difficult, owing to scant cellularity and lack of distinctive cytologic features. The MR imaging findings may be utilized as an adjunct to the cytologic features to more confidently suggest a diagnosis of intramuscular myxoma. Diagn Cytopathol 1994;11:255–261. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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