Skeletal muscle metastases from carcinomas: A review of the literature

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1 Scopus citations


Bones are a common site for metastases; however, muscle metastases recently have been more commonly reported, not only as a result of the multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of these patients but also because of more sensitive imaging modalities such as positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) that identify these lesions in early stages.The most common carcinoma is lung carcinoma, with a hematogenous route of spread mainly to the axial region of the body (the psoas muscle, the gluteal muscles, and the paravertebral muscles).Clinically, skeletal muscle metastases from carcinomas frequently present as painful palpable masses with or without swelling and are commonly found before diagnosis of the primary carcinoma.Multiple imaging modalities, including radiographs, CT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and PET-CT, have been used for diagnosis and staging, but tissue sampling is needed for a final diagnosis. The most important differential diagnosis of skeletal muscle metastases is with soft-tissue sarcomas.Treatment is mainly based on chemotherapy and/or radiation; surgery is performed in cases of symptomatic lesions that fail to respond to nonoperative treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJBJS reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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