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Minerva Chirurgica 2006 December;61(6):529-32


language: Italian

Submucosal jejunal lymphangioma: an unusual case with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding in an adult, detected by video-capsule endoscopy and treated by laparoscopy

Griffa B. 1, Basilico V. 1, Feltri M. 2, Griffa A. 1

1 Divisione di Chirurgia 1° Ospedale Valduce, Como 2 Servizio di Anatomia Patologica Ospedale Valduce, Como


A 54 year-old man, without any remarkable medical history, was examined for recurrent episodes of colicky abdominal pain, over a period of nine months, with positive faecal occult blood test. Three months earlier he had undergone an extensive evaluation for a single episode of melaena, including upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy to the caecum, enteroscopy and an abdominal ultrasound scan, that were negative. He was then submitted to the video capsule endoscopy (Given Imaging Ltd, Yoqneam, Israel) that revealed a polypoid white-yellowish lesion in the mid portion of the jejunum. The patient was admitted to our Department of Surgery in January 2005. During the operation, performed by laparoscopic video-assisted approach, the lesion, measuring 1.5 x 2 cm, was found at about 100 cm from the ligament of Treitz and was successfully excised. At histology, the final diagnosis was submucosal lymphangioma. The lymphangioma is a benign neoplastic lesion of the lymphatic system that usually is present in infancy and is found, in the majority of the patients, in the subcutaneous tissue outside the abdomen. The intrabdominal site accounts for less than 1% of the cases, and often occurs in the mesentery of the small bowel. Finding the lesion in the submucosa of the jejunum in an adult is very rare. The case here reported seems unusual to the Authors and worthy of publication because of the chronic, ambiguous clinical symptomatology, the occult digestive blood loss, and all the diagnostic examinations resulting negative, except for the video-capsule endoscopy. Moreover, the choice of the laparoscopic video-assisted technique, confirming the expected site of the lesion, with a “minimal” small bowel resection, made the postoperative course of the patient very short and uneventful. He is well and free of disease one year after the intervention. From a brief review of surgical literature, the case reported is the second one detected by the video capsule endoscopy and the fifth operated on by laparoscopy.

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