alexa Localized Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis of the Shoul
ISSN: 2168-9784

Journal of Medical Diagnostic Methods
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Case Report

Localized Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis of the Shoulder: A Difficult Diagnosis of a Rare Disorder

Douglas W Kelly1*, Stephen A Ovanessoff2 and J Paul Rubin3
1Department of orthopedics, Phoenix Baptist Hospital, Phoenix, Az, USA
2Medical Director and Chief Pathologist, Phoenix Baptist Hospital Laboratory, Phoenix, Az, USA
3Department of Radiology, Phoenix Baptist Hospital, Phoenix, Az, USA
Corresponding Author : Douglas W Kelly
5501 North 19th Ave Suite # 432
Phoenix, AZ, 85015, USA
Tel: 602- 242-7691
Fax: 602- 242-7265
Received October 25, 2013; Accepted November 25, 2013; Published December 1, 2013
Citation: Kelly DW, Ovanessoff SA, Rubin PJ (2013) Localized Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis of the Shoulder: A Difficult Diagnosis of a Rare Disorder. J Med Diagn Meth 2:144. doi:10.4172/2168-9784.1000144
Copyright: © 2013 Kelly DW, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Introduction: Localized Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (LPVNS) of the shoulder joint is an extremely rare disorder. It is most often associated with a nonspecific clinical presentation resulting in both delays in diagnosis and in treatment. The growth characteristics and natural history of LPVNS are poorly understood.

Case report: This article describes an unusual case of a 53 -year-old woman whose treatment delay allowed us to more closely study the natural history of LPVNS. Our patient first presented with poorly localized posterior shoulder pain. Her symptoms slowly progressed. An initial MRI study more than 2 years after the onset of symptoms demonstrated a soft tissue tumor in a subscapularis recess location. Treatment with corticosteroid injections and physical therapy failed. A second MRI study, nearly 2 years later, found no change in signal characteristics, location, and size measurements of the soft tissue tumor, all important distinctions. Arthroscopic resection produced a definitive diagnosis of an intra-articular localized pigmented villonodular synovitis of the shoulder. At her final 18 mos. follow-up the patient demonstrated pain relief and no clinical recurrence of disease.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first case report of a nodular appearing LPVNS arising from an intraarticular shoulder location in a patient with no prior shoulder surgery or trauma. It is also unique in that the tumor originated in a subscapularis recess location. This case documents for the first time a LPVNS with limited growth potential and emphasizes the importance of careful direct study and clinical correlation of MRI findings to avoid delays in treatment.

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