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Chir Ital. 2001 Nov-Dec;53(6):809-20.

[Our experience in the surgical treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors].

[Article in Italian]

Author information

  • 1Dipartimento di Chirurgia, Sezione di Chirurgia Generale e Toracica, UniversitĂ  degli Studi di Catania.


The authors carry out a retrospective review of 30 patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) who underwent surgical treatment over the period from 1974 to 2001. Sixteen were male and 14 female, with an average age of 60.9 years. Histologically, 19 tumours showed evidence of differentiation towards smooth muscle elements (10 benign and 9 malignant), 9 towards neural elements (3 benign and 6 malignant) and 2 iacked differentiation towards either cell type. Twenty-one tumours were located in the stomach, 1 in the duodenum, 3 in the jejunum and 5 in the ileum. The main symptoms were abdominal pain and abdominal masses, and the most sensitive diagnostic techniques were abdominal CT scan and endoscopy in gastroduodenal locations. In 21 gastric GISTs, the surgical procedures were local resection (15 cases), partial gastric resection (3 cases), subtotal gastrectomy (2 cases) and total gastrectomy (1 case). In 8 small bowel GISTs, we performed a typical intestinal resection while duodenal undifferentiated GIST was managed by pancreatico-duodenectomy. There was no operative mortality or morbidity. Among the 13 patients with benign GISTs, 1 died of causes unrelated to the disease, while 12 patients are still alive and in good health after a mean follow-up of 148.5 months (range: 6-262). Among patients with malignant muscular GISTs (6 gastric and 3 ileal), 3 with gastric tumours were lost to follow-up, 3 with gastric and 1 with ileal neoplasms are alive and free from disease after a median follow-up of 58 months (range 3-108), while 2 patients with ileal neoplasms died of metastatic disease 39 and 29 months after the surgical procedure. Among 6 patients with malignant neural GISTs (2 gastric, 2 jejunal and 2 ileal) 1 with a gastric tumour and 1 with a jejunal tumour were lost to follow-up, while 3 are still alive and in good health after a median follow-up of 67.6 months (range 19 to 94); another with jejunal disease developed liver metastases 14 months after small bowel resection and died 12 months later. The two patients with undifferentiated GIST both died of liver metastasis 38 months after pancreatico-duodenectomy and 43 months after total gastrectomy. The most frequent symptoms were abdominal pain and a palpable mass, but no specific signs were detected. In gastroduodenal lesions endoscopy plays a very important diagnostic role and CT scan is the most sensitive diagnostic technique in the evaluation of location, size, invasion of adjacent organs and metastases. Prognostic prediction on the basis of histological findings is difficult and in our experience undifferentiated tumours are always malignant.

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