Annals of African Medicine

: 2019  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 177--179

Large extraskeletal ewing sarcoma of the hand: A rare entity

Sonal Saran1, Annu Kharbanda1, Sunil Malik2,  
1 Department of Radiology, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Subharti Medical College, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sonal Saran
Flat No. 6, Swami Shraddhanand Bhawan, Subharti University, Meerut - 250 005, Uttar Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Saran S, Kharbanda A, Malik S. Large extraskeletal ewing sarcoma of the hand: A rare entity.Ann Afr Med 2019;18:177-179

How to cite this URL:
Saran S, Kharbanda A, Malik S. Large extraskeletal ewing sarcoma of the hand: A rare entity. Ann Afr Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Sep 28 ];18:177-179
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A 17-year-old male patient presented with a huge mass in the right hand. The mass was first noticed 6 months back; since then, the lesion slowly increased in size with superimposed ulcerative changes over the skin. Systemic examination of the patient was normal. The lesion was located in the 4th web space and measured approximately 11 cm × 11 cm × 10 cm in size [Figure 1]. Conventional radiograph of the hand was performed in anteroposterior and oblique views which showed large soft tissue density mass lesion in the 4th web space with lobulated margins. No obvious destruction of the bones was seen [Figure 2]. The patient was then subjected to ultrasonography which showed large heteroechoic mass lesion with internal hyperechoic foci casting distal acoustic shadowing suggestive of calcification. On color Doppler examination, the lesion demonstrated increased internal vascularity [Figure 3]. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the hand was also performed with intravenous gadolinium contrast agent. On MRI, the lesion was seen in the 4th web space, completely surrounding the 5th digit. The lesion was relatively isointense to adjacent musculature on T1W sequence and relatively hyperintense on T2W and short-tau inversion recovery sequence. T1W sequence after intravenous contrast injection showed intensely enhancing mass lesion with scattered nonenhancing necrotic foci [Figure 4]. The patient was then evaluated for metastasis which was negative. Wide excision of the mass was planned considering the cosmetic deformity and imaging features suggesting malignancy [Figure 5]. The mass was removed along with the medial three digits and was sent for histopathological examination. Histopathological sections showed unencapsulated tumor tissue composed of sheets and lobules of small round tumor cells separated by thick and thin fibrovascular stroma. Cells had vesicular to finely granular chromatin consistent with small round cell tumor which was later proved to be Ewing's sarcoma on immunohistochemistry [Figure 6].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}{Figure 6}

Skeletal/extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma, primitive neuroectodermal tumor, and Askin tumors together form the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors with a characteristic karyotype abnormality involving translocation between chromosome 11 and 22 in common.[1] Histologically, these tumors demonstrate crowded sheets of small round blue cells or lobules of such cells divided by a small amount of fibrous stroma.[2]

Angervall and Enzinger first described the extraskeletal location of Ewing sarcoma in 1975.[3] Askin et al. described a series of extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma involving the chest wall and referred them as Askin tumors.[4] Peak incidence occurs in the second decade of life with slight male predominance. Clinically, the patient presents with large, rapidly growing soft tissue mass. The mass is generally solitary and can be superficial or deep. Upper extremity accounts for only 3% of cases of extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma.[5] There are very few case reports describing extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma of the hand.[6],[7]

The radiological evaluation includes conventional radiography followed by ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), and MRI. Conventional radiographic findings are nonspecific and include generally a large soft tissue mass. Calcification in the mass is not frequently identified, being reported in only 25% of cases. As the tumor is quite aggressive, adjacent bone erosion and cortical penetration with or without periosteal reaction can be seen in up to 40% of cases. On ultrasonography, large lesions are difficult to evaluate due to small field of view; however, internal characteristics of the lesion include heterogeneous echotexture with cystic areas likely representing the presence of necrosis and/or hemorrhage. On power Doppler examination, the lesion often demonstrates increased vascularity.[8]

CT with contrast administration can be performed to evaluate the complete extent of the lesion by reformatting it in different planes. CT also shows exquisite bony details and helps to identify any subtle bone erosion or periosteal reaction. Low attenuation areas show necrosis and areas of hyperdensity show hemorrhage. MRI on the other hand shows the extension of the lesion in soft tissue planes and helps to evaluate the internal characteristic of the lesion. Lesion outline with respect to adjacent soft tissue structures is better evaluated with the help of MRI as compared to CT. On MRI, the mass generally shows heterogeneous signal intensity with predominantly increased signal intensity on T2W sequence and decreased signal intensity on T1W sequence as compared to adjacent muscles. Areas of hemorrhage show signal intensity depending on the stage of degradation of blood products. On susceptibility-weighted sequence, both calcification and hemorrhage will demonstrate foci of blooming.[8]

Postcontrast images generally show uniform homogeneous enhancement of solid component and peripheral enhancement of the cystic component. Evaluation of invasion into adjacent neurovascular structures and metastatic workup completes the radiological examination which thereby helps the surgeon before performing the aggressive surgical resection.[8]

Treatment of extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma includes neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by aggressive surgical excision followed with/without radiotherapy. Postoperative follow-up MRI with contrast administration can detect local recurrence as a soft tissue mass with almost similar signal intensity as the operated lesion.[9],[10]

Extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma is a very rare tumor of the hand. Early diagnosis and treatment is necessary to prevent regional and distant spread of this very aggressive neoplasm. There are very few case reports describing extraskeletal Ewing sarcoma of the hand, and more literature is needed to establish a protocol for early clinical, radiological, and histopathological diagnosis.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

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