Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Diagnose Ewing's Sarcoma


Ewing's sarcoma is a malignant tumor that usually arises from red bone marrow. Ewing's sarcoma comprises about 5 percent of all bone tumors and originates from soft tissue on rare occasions. It is most common in patients 4 to 15 years old and slightly more common in males. The cause is not known but may be related to rapid bone growth. The following steps will show how to diagnose Ewing's sarcoma.


Difficulty: Challenging



Step One

Observe the initial symptoms. Ewing's sarcoma usually causes intermittent pain that becomes more intense and may radiate to the extremities. Patients that are affected in the axial skeleton may have additional symptoms resulting from nerve cord compression. A screening program for Ewing's sarcoma is not recommended because it is rare.

Step Two

Obtain radiographic and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanning. No single imaging method will provide a specific diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma and the clinical symptoms are nonspecific, frequently suggesting osteomyelitis.

Step Three

Interpret the results of radiographic imaging. They may show classic signs of Ewing's sarcoma or may appear to be osteomyelitis or even leukemia. The appearance can vary from purely destructive to completely invasive.

Step Four

Look at the MRI images. These will show the size of Ewing's sarcoma more accurately than radiographs. An MRI also is more effective than Computed Tomography (CT) at describing the extent of the tumors and their position to surrounding structures.

Step Five

Use MRI results as essential in diagnosing soft tissue cases of Ewing's sarcoma. The tumor will show as hypointense on T1-weighted images compared to bone and T2-images will be hyperintense compared to muscle.

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