Primary liposarcoma of the ascending colon: a rare case of mixed type presenting as hemoperitoneum combined with other type of retroperitoneal liposarcoma
© Choi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010
Received: 1 December 2009
Accepted: 27 May 2010
Published: 27 May 2010
Liposarcoma occurs most commonly in the extremities and retroperitoneum, however, it has been rarely observed in the colon.
A case is reported a 41-year-old man with liposarcoma of ascending colon which was presented as hemoperitoneum and combined with a different histological type of retroperitoneal liposarcoma. He visited hospital with right lower abdominal pain and palpable mass. Laboratory data including tumor markers were within normal limits, and computed tomography revealed a 15 × 10 cm sized enhancing soft mass. Right hemicolectomy was performed, and after that, a further large retroperitoneal mass was revealed and this was also radically excised. Mixed-type colon liposarcoma and well differentiated type of retroperitoneal liposarcoma were diagnosed in pathologic report. The patient has remained free of disease for 24 months.
No standardized guidelines have been established for its treatment because too small a number of cases have been reported, but surgical resection was considered the treatment of choice.
Liposarcoma is a common sarcoma of the soft tissues in adults, and it occurs most commonly in the extremities and retroperitoneum. However, it has been observed rarely in the gastrointestinal system, and colon liposarcoma is extremely uncommon. We report a new case of ascending colon liposarcoma, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of mixed-type colon liposarcoma presenting as hemoperitoneum, and the first case of combined with liposarcoma in colon and retroperitoneum.
An emergency laparotomy with midline incision was performed. About 800 ml of blood was in the pelvic cavity and a huge, lobulated, oozing soft mass that had ruptured was noted in the ascending colon. The patient underwent a right hemicolectomy. After the colon was excised, a further large retroperitoneal mass (measuring about 10 cm in the largest dimension) was revealed and this was also radically excised.
After surgery, the patient was discharged without any complications, and has been well, without any evidence of recurrence or metastasis for 24 months with outpatient follow up every 6 months.
Liposarcoma is one of the most common soft tissue sarcomas, and represents 20% of mesenchymal malignancies. It tends to occur in the retroperitoneum and deep soft tissues of the trunk and extremities in adults[2, 3]. It is unlike lipoma and relatively rare in the fat-rich areas such as the subcutaneous tissue, intestinal tract, and mesocolon. Historically, liposarcoma has been divided into five subtypes according to the World Health Organization: well differentiated, dedifferentiated, myxoid, pleomorphic, and mixed type.
Liposarcomas rarely involve the gastrointestinal tract[5–16], and a primary liposarcoma of the colon is extremely uncommon. A recent textbook on gastrointestinal pathology cites no cases of colonic liposarcoma, and to the best of our knowledge, only nine cases of primary liposarcoma of the colon have been reported worldwide[5–13]. However, mixed-type primary liposarcoma of the colon has never been reported. Mixed-type liposarcoma is defined as a tumor that demonstrates the morphological features of myxoid, pleomorphic, and/or well differentiated/dedifferentiated liposarcoma. This subset accounts for approximately 4% of all liposarcomas and mostly develops in the abdomen.
Review of reported cases of primary liposarcoma of the colon.
Tumor size (cm)
Wood et al.
Pain and palpable mass
7.5 × 12
Died 2 yrs
Parks et al.
Abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, anemia, and weight loss
6 × 4
Magro et al.
Pain and intussusception
Alive 6 mo
Pain and hematochezia
7.5 × 5
Alive 2 yrs
Gutsu et al.
Pain and palpable mass
12 × 11
Alive 1 yr
Shahidzadeh et al.
3.5 × 2.8
Chaudhary et al.
Pain, hematochezia, weight loss, and palpable mass
6 × 3
Alive 6 mo
Jaboui et al.
Pain, constipation, and weight loss
7 × 6
Alive 10 mo
D'Annibale et al.
Pain, constipation, and weight loss
5 × 5.2
Died 2.5 yrs
Pain and palpable mass
20 × 13
Alive 2 yrs
Most studies have treated primary liposarcoma of the colon with complete wide excision[5–13]; in our case, right hemicolectomy was performed for complete remove of colon liposarcoma and all gross retroperitoneal mass was excised widely. A treatment protocol has not been established because of the small number of reported cases. The effects of chemotherapy for liposarcoma has not been yet unknown, but radiotherapy has shown to affect survival rates. The patient was discussed with a medical oncologist and no adjuvant therapy was recommended but it was suggested that regular clinical follow up every 6 months was needed.
The prognosis of primary liposarcoma of the colon is not known. In the first case reported by Wood and Morgenstern, tumor recurrence developed 3 years after surgery for myxoid colon liposarcoma. Some factors have been accepted as indicators of poor prognosis: age >45 years, presence of round cells, necrotic areas within the mass, and dissemination of the disease. Although our patient had necrotic areas within the mass, and the tumor could be disseminated due to ruptured hemoperitoneum, he is still alive after 24 months without any recurrence.
The present case is extremely rare because it is mixed type, presenting as hemoperitoneum and was combined with a different histological type of retroperitoneal liposarcoma. No standardized guidelines have been established for its treatment because too small a number of cases have been reported, but surgical resection was considered the treatment of choice in our case. A larger number of cases will be necessary to determine whether additional treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy is necessary or effective in liposarcoma of colon.
Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal
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