Atypical fibroxanthoma: Systematic review and meta-analysis of treatment with Mohs micrographic surgery or excision

Stanislav N. Tolkachjov, Benjamin F. Kelley, Fares Alahdab, Patricia J. Erwin, Jerry D. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background: Atypical fibroxanthoma (AFX) is a fibrohistiocytic tumor with relatively high local recurrence rates but low metastatic potential. Wide local excision (WLE) and Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) are common treatments, although no consensus exists regarding optimal therapy. Objective: To systematically review evidence of AFX recurrence and metastatic rates after different surgical modalities. Methods: A comprehensive search was performed for articles published from 1946 or database inception to March 20, 2017. Studies selected included those that had 5 or more patients with atypical fibroxanthoma treated surgically. Two reviewers independently abstracted the data. Risk of bias was assessed with the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Main outcomes and measures included recurrence and metastasis. Results: In total, 23 studies were selected (907 patients and 914 tumors); 175 patients were treated with MMS (recurrence rate 2.0%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0%-4.1%; metastatic rate 1.9%, 95% CI 0.1%-3.8%), and 732 were treated with WLE (recurrence rate 8.7%, 95% CI 5%-12.3%; metastasis rate 1%, 95% CI 0.2%-1.9%). Among immunocompromised patients, no recurrence or metastases developed in the MMS subgroup, although 4 of 10 recurred and 1 of 10 metastasized in the WLE subgroup. Limitations: Low quality of the studies published. Conclusion: MMS for atypical fibroxanthoma is associated with a lower recurrence rate than WLE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-934.e6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • atypical fibroxanthoma
  • dermatologic surgery
  • fibrohistiocytic
  • Mohs surgery
  • oncology
  • undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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