Axillary synovial sarcoma recurrence involving brachial plexus, a rare case report from Pakistan

Safna Naozer Virji, Muhammad Ammar Pirzada, Nadeem Ahmed Siddiqui, Romana Idrees, Sana Zeeshan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Synovial sarcomas are rare tumors, and the incidence of axillary synovial sarcoma involving the brachial plexus has been reported as 2.9 % among all axillary soft tissue tumors. However, the recurrence of axillary synovial sarcomas has not been reported in literature. Case presentation: A 36-years-old Afghan female presented in Karachi, Pakistan with a history of persistently increasing, recurrent, right axillary mass for 6 months. Initially diagnosed as a spindle-cell tumor on excision in Afghanistan, she had received ifosfamide and doxorubicin, but the lesion recurred. On examination, it was a 5 × 6 cm, hard mass palpable in right axilla. After radiological work-up and a multidisciplinary team discussion, she underwent complete excision of the tumor with successful preservation of brachial plexus. The final diagnosis was reported as monophasic synovial sarcoma FNCLCC Grade 3. Discussion: Our patient presented with a recurrent right axillary synovial sarcoma that was involving the axillary neurovascular bundle and brachial plexus, which was initially diagnosed as a spindle cell sarcoma. Pre-operative core-needle biopsy was unable to provide a definitive diagnosis. MRI scan was useful in delineating the proximity of the neurovascular structures. Re-excision of the tumor was performed which is the mainstay of treatment for axillary synovial sarcomas, combined with radiotherapy depending on the disease grading, staging and patient factors. Conclusion: Axillary synovial sarcoma recurrence with involvement of the brachial plexus is an extremely rare presentation. Our patient was successfully managed through a multidisciplinary approach with complete surgical excision and preservation of the brachial plexus followed by adjuvant radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108325
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Axilla
  • Brachial plexus
  • Case report
  • Recurrence
  • Synovial sarcoma


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