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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2017 December;30(6):255-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0394-9508.17.04681-2


language: English

Cystic lymphangioma of the retroperitoneum in an adult

Georgios P. FRAGULIDIS 1 , Elissaios A. KONTIS 1, Eirini V. PANTIORA 1, Sofia C. FONTARA 2, Antonios I. VEZAKIS 1, Andreas A. POLYDOROU 1

1 Second Department of Surgery, Aretaieio Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece; 2 First Department of Radiology, Aretaieio Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece


Cystic lymphangiomas are uncommon congenital benign tumors originating from the lymph vessels. Most cystic lymphangiomas occur in childhood, in the head, neck or axilla. Abdominal retroperitoneal cystic lymphangioma in adulthood is very rare and accounts for 1% of all lymphangiomas and may present a polymorphic clinical presentation when increases in size. Differential diagnosis accounts for a variety of neoplastic or no neoplastic tumors making a puzzling preoperative diagnostic evaluation. A 39-year-old Caucasian woman was referred to our hospital after an exploratory laparotomy two weeks ago on behalf of an abdominal cystic tumor that was misdiagnosed as an ovarian cyst preoperatively. Physical examination revealed an abdominal large palpable mass extending from the pelvis through the upper abdomen. An MRI of the upper and lower abdomen showed a large retroperitoneal multiseptate cystic lesion measuring 14 x 8 x 12 cm that encased the right common iliac vessels. The cystic tumor was successfully dissected during laparotomy and the pathology report revealed a cystic lymphangioma. Cystic lymphangiomas are rare benign tumors seen rarely in adults and should be considered in the differential diagnosis between the varieties of retroperitoneal cystic masses. Surgical excision is the treatment of choice since the diagnosis is only possible following to the histological examination.

KEY WORDS: Cysts - Lymphangioma - Surgery - Diagnosis, differential

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Publication History

Issue published online: October 2, 2017
Manuscript accepted: April 21, 2017
Manuscript received: March 20, 2017

Cite this article as

Fragulidis GP, Kontis EA, Pantiora EV, Fontara SC, Vezakis AI, Polydorou AA. Cystic lymphangioma of the retroperitoneum in an adult. Chirurgia 2017;30:255-7. DOI: 10.23736/S0394-9508.17.04681-2

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