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J Cutan Med Surg. 2004 Jul-Aug;8(4):229-32.

Abdominal elephantiasis: a case report.

Author information

1
Dermatology department, CHUQ Hotel-Dieu de Québec, 11 cote du Palais, G1R 2J6, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada. dominiquehanna@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Elephantiasis is a well-known condition in dermatology usually affecting the legs and external genitalia. It is characterized by chronic inflammation and obstruction of the lymphatic channels and by hypertrophy of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. The etiology is either idiopathic or caused by a variety of conditions such as chronic filarial disease, leprosy, leishmaniasis, and chronic recurrent cellulites.

OBJECTIVE:

Elephantiasis of the abdominal wall is very rare. A complete review of the English and French literature showed only two cases reported in 1966 and 1973, respectively. We report a third case of abdominal elephantiasis and we briefly review this entity.

METHODS:

We present the case of a 51-year-old woman who had progressively developed an enormous pediculated abdominal mass hanging down her knees. The skin was thickened, hyperpigmented, and fissured. She had a history of multiple abdominal cellulites.

RESULTS:

She underwent an abdominal lipectomy. Histopathology of the specimen confirmed the diagnosis of abdominal elephantiasis.

CONCLUSION:

Abdominal elephantiasis is a rare disease that represents end-stage failure of lymph drainage. Lipectomy should be considered in the management of this condition.

PMID:
16092000
DOI:
10.1177/120347540400800405
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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