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Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors: A short series with an emphasis on the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges.

BACKGROUND: Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) are a distinct entity of mesenchymal tumors. We present the challenges in their diagnosis and management.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective study with detailed clinical, radiological, and histopathological (HPE) features along with management and outcome of 10 biopsy-proven patients with IMT, between 2001 and 2020.

RESULTS: The location included intracranial (5), orbital (4), and spinal (1) with M : F = 7 : 3. The mean age of onset was in the third decade. The commonest symptom was headache, while proptosis and blurred vision occurred in orbital IMTs. HPE revealed diffuse infiltration of mixed inflammatory cells over proliferating myofibroblasts. Smooth muscle antigen immunoreactivity was noted in fibroblastic spindle cells of all IMTs. However, we did not find anaplastic lymphoma kinase expression in any of our cases, as this is only found in ~ 50% of all IMTs. Tumor infiltration into adjacent tissue was noted in 4 patients. Surgical excision was limited to orbital IMTs, as most central nervous system (CNS) tumors were not amenable for resection. Steroid administration showed moderate improvement in the IMT-CNS patients but also required additional immunomodulation. Four patients had a median long-term follow-up of 7 years. Two patients had recurrent lesions demonstrated by imaging after 2 years of initial presentation.

CONCLUSION: IMTs are rare and ambiguous tumors of unknown etiology that can occur anywhere in the body. Clinical and radiological features may not be specific to determine the diagnosis, but it should be considered as a differential diagnosis. Extensive thorough workup with histopathology along with the help of immunohistochemistry is conducive to better clinical outcomes. Surgical biopsy with extensive and total resection of these tumors along with steroid and radiotherapy may enhance the survival outcomes.

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