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Collagen-Rich Tumors of Soft Tissues: An Overview

Nielsen, G. Petur*; O'Connell, John X.; Wehrli, Bret M.; Rosenberg, Andrew E.*

Advances in Anatomic Pathology: July 2003 - Volume 10 - Issue 4 - p 179-199
Review Articles

Although relatively common, soft tissue tumors frequently present diagnostic problems for practicing pathologists. Immunohistochemistry has facilitated the diagnosis of many mesenchymal tumors; however, there is considerable overlap in the staining profiles among cells demonstrating fibroblastic and myofibroblastic differentiation. It has been our experience that soft tissue tumors associated with abundant extracellular collagen deposition commonly cause problems in classification. One reason for this is that tumors displaying this morphology include representatives from different histogenetic families. Specifically, tumors exhibiting fibroblastic, myofibroblastic and even lipomatous differentiation may manifest as a densely collagenous mass. It is the purpose of this review to highlight these collagen-rich soft tissue tumors.

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*Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.; †Department of Pathology, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada; and ‡Department of Pathology, London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario, Canada.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to John X. O'Connell, M.B., F.R.C.P.C., Department of Pathology, Surrey Memorial Hospital, 13750 96th Avenue, Surrey, BC V3V 1Z2, Canada. E-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.