Lymphangiomas constitute a group of very rare diseases and occur with a frequency of 1/250,000 to 1/20,000 of hospitalizations. Even though they are benign lesions, their complications may turn into a life-threatening condition. They usually occur in children (90%), they are either congenital or they appear before the child’s second birthday. Occassionally they are found in adults.
Lymphangiomas are usually localized around neck, but also near armpits and in the groin area. Less than 1% of lymphagiomas are detected in the retroperitoneal space and intestinal mesentery. Vascular lesions derived from lymphatic vessels can be divided into ordinary ones, usually known as capillary, cavernous, and cystic. The cystic tumor (lymphangioma mesenteri) is the least common. It occurs mostly in the retroperitoneal space, mesentery of the colon, or extremely rarely in the mesentery of the small intestine. Preoperative diagnosis is difficult due to non-specific clinical symptoms and noncharacteristic image in the diagnostic tests. Lymphangioma complications, such as intestinal obstruction or perforation, and persistent pain, are the cause of exploratory laparotomy. Final diagnosis requires microscopic examination of material collected during an operation.
This article presented the case of a 40-year-old female, operated due to the obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, in whose case the lymphangioma was recognised in postoperative histopathological examination of the tumor from the jejunal mesentery. Since patients with these tumors have good chances of complete recovery - if there are no serious complications - it appears that the optimal therapeutic procedure should be early surgery, which reduces the possibility of complications.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.