Primary psoas sarcoma causing malignant psoas syndrome: favourable response to radiotherapy

Thomas A. McKay, Sarah Bishop, Michael J. McKay


Malignant psoas syndrome (MPS) is an uncommon condition first described by Stevens et al. MPS is caused by malignant infiltration of the psoas muscle and adjacent nerves and is characterised by (fixed) flexion deformity of the ipsilateral hip and proximal lumbosacral plexopathy. It has previously been described in relation to metastatic carcinoma, melanoma and liposarcoma, as well as non-Hodgkins lymphoma. We present the case of a 68-year-old woman with a sarcoma arising in the left psoas muscle at the level of L4 who presented with symptoms of MPS. To the authors’ knowledge this is the first case of MPS arising from a primary sarcoma of the iliopsoas compartment. The patient underwent presurgical radiotherapy, with a significant improvement in pain control without an increase in analgesic medications. We discuss the aetiology of MPS and the role of radiotherapy in the treatment of this rare syndrome.