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J Pediatr Surg. 2001 Jan;36(1):169-73.

Inflammatory pseudotumor of the alimentary tract: clinical and surgical experience.

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  • 1Section of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Pathology, Indiana University School of Medicine and JW Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN, USA.



Initially described in 1937, inflammatory pseudotumor (IPT) inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) or plasma cell granulomas are synonymous for an inflammatory solid tumor that contains spindle cells, myofibroblasts, plasma cells, and histocytes. Common sites of presentation include lung, mesentary, liver, and spleen; intestinal presentations are rare, and the etiology remains obscure. This report details the clinical and surgical experiences in 4 children with alimentary tract IPT at a single institution.


A retrospective chart review was conducted of pediatric patients with the pathologic diagnosis of IPT.


Between 1990 and 1999, 4 patients (4 girls, ages 5 to 15 years) were identified with gastrointestinal tract origins of IPT. Symptoms at presentation included anemia (n = 4), intermittent abdominal pain (n = 3), fever (n = 3), weight loss (n = 2), diarrhea (n = 2), dysphagia (n = 1). Two patients had comorbid conditions of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and mature B cell lymphoma. Three of 4 patients had elevated sedimentation rates. The sites of origin were the gastroesophageal junction, the colon, the rectum, and the appendix, with the referral diagnosis achalasia, perforated appendix, inflammatory bowel disease, and recurrent lymphoma, respectively. All were treated with aggressive surgical resection, and 3 girls have had no recurrences since the initial surgery. One patient had 3 recurrences within 8 months of presentation; she remains disease free 8 years later.


IPT, although rare in the gastrointestinal tract, mimics more common problems. Successful surgical management is possible even in cases of multiple recurrences.

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