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BMJ Case Rep. 2012 Jul 11;2012. pii: bcr0320126080. doi: 10.1136/bcr.03.2012.6080.

Intramural carcinoma of the oesophagogastric junction.

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  • 1Pathologisches Institut, Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany.


Most oesophageal carcinomas (>70%) are squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) arising from the surface epithelial lining. In the gastro-oesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinomas occur in the setting of Barrett oesophagus (BE). These carcinomas typically present with surface ulceration. The authors report a rare case of a SCC of the GEJ with completely intramural growth underneath intact non-dysplastic oesophageal squamous epithelium and BE without dysplasia. The sharply demarcated tumour was located in the muscularis propia with infiltration of perioesophageal tissue nearly reaching the diaphragm. Intramural squamous carcinomas are very rare with only three reported cases. In this study, the authors discuss this finding and review the relevant literature. Intramural carcinomas are a diagnostic challenge for clinicians and pathologist, since preoperative biopsies mostly fail to establish the diagnosis and surgical explorations must be considered.

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