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Neurotized Free Muscle Flaps can Produce MRI Changes Mimicking Tumour Recurrence

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  • Biology
  • Medicine


Soft tissue sarcomas are investigated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) both for initial staging and follow-up. We describe the presence of increased signal on T2-weighted images caused by a neurotized muscle flap following reconstructive surgery. This raised concern about possible sarcoma recurrence that was not clinically evident. On post-operative imaging of sarcomas the presence of recurrent tumour is indicated by a mass and high signal intensity on T2-weighted images. However, high signal changes in skeletal muscle on T2-weighted images are not specific. In this case, the free functioning muscle transfer with neurotization of the flap mimicked recurrence on MR scan. High signal intensity on T2-weighted images in muscle is an indication of either a physiological change or a pathological condition and must be taken in context of the clinical picture.

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