Medical College of Wisconsin
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Congenital dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans: variability in presentation. Arch Dermatol 2003 Feb;139(2):207-11 PMID: 12588227

Pubmed ID



BACKGROUND: Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is an uncommon low-grade fibrohistiocytic tumor that usually occurs on the trunk or proximal extremities and typically appears during the second to fifth decade of life. It most commonly begins as a red-blue plaque that grows slowly and ultimately becomes nodular. The tumor is associated with a high recurrence rate but low metastatic potential. It rarely presents in childhood and is even more rarely present at birth. The clinical diagnosis of DFSP in infancy or childhood may be difficult because, in its early stages, the tumor often resembles a vascular birthmark.

OBSERVATIONS: We studied 6 patients with congenital DFSP who were initially thought to have other diagnoses, highlighting the potential clinical variability in presentation. Half of the cases in this series occurred in areas of the body outside of the typically reported distribution pattern of acquired DFSP and in locations that, therefore, may not arouse suspicion of congenital DFSP.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the aggressive local potential and high recurrence rate of DFSP, early diagnosis is preferable to facilitate appropriate excision. We recommend that any infant or child presenting with a cutaneous plaque or nodule, even congenital, that does not have characteristic or diagnostic clinical features undergo tissue biopsy for histologic evaluation.

Author List

Weinstein JM, Drolet BA, Esterly NB, Rogers M, Bauer BS, Wagner AM, Mancini AJ


Beth A. Drolet MD Professor in the Dermatology department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-0037320002   62 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Biopsy, Needle
Child, Preschool
Follow-Up Studies
Mohs Surgery
Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
Risk Assessment
Sampling Studies
Skin Neoplasms
Surgical Procedures, Operative
Treatment Outcome
jenkins-FCD Prod-296 4db9d02597e0a2e889e230f853b641c12f1c3ee3