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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


NTLOKO, S. et al. Intestinal inflammatory myofibroblastic tumour. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2011, vol.49, n.4, pp.190-193. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumours (IMFTs) are rare tumours characterised by nosologic, histogenetic and aetio-pathogenetic controversy and variable clinicopathological features. We report our experience with intestinal-IMFTs (I-IMFTs) that have been reported mainly as single case reports to date. METHODS: Five patients with I-IMFTs, identified between 2005 and 2008, formed the study cohort. The clinicopathological features were obtained from departmental and hospital records. RESULTS: The median patient age was 13 years. While 4 patients presented with symptoms and signs of intestinal obstruction, one IMFT was an incidental finding at laparotomy for trauma. Three I-IMFTs were located in the small bowel and 2 in the colon. Complete resection with end-to-end anastomoses was performed. The gross morphology included 1 polypoid myxoid tumour that served as a lead point for an intussusception, 3 multinodular whorled masses and 1 firm circumferential, infiltrative tumour. Microscopically, all tumours had typical features of IMFT with variable expression of ALK-1, a low proliferation index and tumour-free resection margins. All patients had an uneventful recovery. One patient was lost to further follow-up. Four patients were well, without local recurrence or metastases at 6 months to 3 years. CONCLUSIONS: Surgery with tumour-free resection margins is the gold standard of care of adult and paediatric I-IMFTs. Heightened recognition of I-IMFT, albeit rare, as a cause of intestinal obstruction, including intussusception, is necessary for pre-operative suspicion of I-IMFT.

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