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Resection of soft tissue sarcoma of the lower limb after evaluation of vascular invasion with intraoperative intravascular ultrasonography. BJS 2007; 94: 168-173.

Published: 1st December 2006

Authors: M. Hünerbein, P. Hohenberger, C. Stroszczynski, N. Bartelt, P. M. Schlag, P. U. Tunn et al.


This study investigated the value of intravascular ultrasonography (IVUS) in the intraoperative assessment of vascular invasion of soft tissue sarcoma.


In a 4‐year interval, of 337 patients with soft tissue sarcoma, 20 patients with tumours of the lower limb in close relation to the neurovascular bundle underwent intraoperative IVUS (20 MHz). Intraoperative findings were correlated with preoperative imaging, histopathological appearance of the resection specimen and patient outcome.


Intraoperative IVUS was technically successful in all 20 patients. It correctly predicted vascular involvement (true positive) in ten of 11 patients who required resection of major vessels. There was one false‐negative and one false‐positive result. With magnetic resonance imaging, there were ten true‐positive and three false‐positive scans, and one false‐negative diagnosis. IVUS improved the assessment of vascular involvement in four of the 20 patients. Histopathological examination confirmed complete resection (R0) in 18 patients. Mean survival was 37 months, and no local recurrence was observed in these patients.


Vascular infiltration by soft tissue sarcoma can be visualized accurately by IVUS. This may improve intraoperative decisions about vessel resection. Copyright © 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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