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Pediatric localized intestinal lymphangiectasia treated with resection

Authors Mari J, Kovacs T, Pasztor G, Tiszlavicz L, Bereczki C, Szucs D

Received 15 November 2018

Accepted for publication 16 January 2019

Published 11 February 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 23—27


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ronald Prineas

Judit Mari,1 Tamas Kovacs,1 Gyula Pasztor,2 Laszlo Tiszlavicz,3 Csaba Bereczki,1 Daniel Szucs1

1University of Szeged, Department of Pediatrics, Szeged, Hungary; 2University of Szeged, Department of Radiology, Szeged, Hungary; 3University of Szeged, Department of Pathology, Szeged, Hungary

Introduction: Primary intestinal lymphangiectasia (PIL) is a very rare disorder usually diagnosed before the third year of life or later in adulthood, presenting with pitting edema, hypoproteinemia and low immunoglobulin levels. The location and the extent of the affected bowel greatly influence the clinical manifestation. The localized or segmental form of PIL is extremely rare with only five pediatric cases reported worldwide.
Case presentation: A 10 year-old Caucasian boy presented with 3 months history of recurrent abdominal pain and a 1 month history of diarrhea. An ultrasound scan was performed on two separate occasions 10 days apart, revealing a growing cystic mass on the right side of the abdomen, in front of the psoas muscle. Subsequently an MRI scan confirmed that the mass originated from the mesenteries and infiltrates a short segment of the small bowel. Surgical resection of the affected segment was performed. Histopathological examination of the removed segment of ileum was consistent with intestinal lymphangiectasia. We could not identify any associated genetic syndromes or any other conditions that could have caused secondary intestinal lymphangiectasia. The patient’s recovery from surgery was uneventful and no recurrence was observed in the following 4 years.
Conclusion: Despite being a benign condition, mortality of PIL can be as high as 13% due to the difficulties associated with the management of the disease. PIL should be considered as a rare but potential cause for an abdominal mass, even in the older child, when cystic mesenterial involvement might be seen on ultrasound or MRI. In selected cases of PIL affecting only a short segment of the bowel or following unsuccessful conservative treatment, surgical resection of the affected bowel segment can be curative.

Keywords: surgery, children, abdominal pain, abdominal mass, follow-up

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