Background: The skeletal muscle is an unusual site for metastasis from renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Metastatic RCC must be differentiated from benign primary soft-tissue tumors because aggressive surgical resection is necessary. Case presentation: We present the case of a 65-year-old man with metastatic RCC in the gluteus maximus muscle (3.8 cm in diameter) found on enhanced computed tomography (CT) 6 years after nephrectomy. Retrospectively, the small mass (1 cm in diameter) was overlooked 5 years earlier on enhanced CT. Because the growth of the lesion was slow, benign tumor was a differential diagnosis. However, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that the mass had high-signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted images (WIs) compared to that of skeletal muscle, with mild enhancement by Gadolinium. The MRI features were unusual for most soft-tissue tumors having low-signal intensity on T1-WI and high-signal intensity on T2-WI. Therefore, under a diagnosis of metastatic RCC, the lesion was resected together with the surrounding skeletal muscle. The histology was confirmed to be metastatic RCC. Conclusion: MRI features of metastatic RCC may be beneficial in differentiating it from primary soft-tissue tumor.
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