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Case Rep Gastroenterol. 2011 May;5(2):288-94. doi: 10.1159/000326943. Epub 2011 May 24.

Cystic lymphangioma of the pancreas with spontaneous rupture: report of a case.

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Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Hachinohe Shimin Hospital, Hachinohe, Japan.


Lymphangioma is a benign and congenital malformation of the lymphatic system. Most lymphangiomas are preferentially located in the head and neck region. The abdominal organs are uncommon sites of origin. Several cases of lymphangioma in abdominal organs were reported, however, the pancreas is one of the rarest origins. Generally, intra-abdominal lymphangioma is asymptomatic and found incidentally, but in some cases, the patient complains of abdominal distension or a palpable mass. We describe the case of a 38-year-old male who presented with sudden-onset upper abdominal pain. Rupture of a cystic tumor of the pancreatic head was suspected, based on the findings of computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and endoscopic ultrasonography. Subtotal stomach-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy was undertaken. The tumor, which was 4 × 4.5 × 8 cm in size, was pathologically diagnosed as a cystic lymphangioma. In conclusion, pancreatic lymphangioma is mostly asymptomatic, a ruptured case causing 'acute abdomen' has never been reported. Since lymphangioma is benign, it could be observed with accurate diagnosis. The surgical indication would be limited to cases of symptomatic lymphangiomas.


D2-40; Lymphangioma; Pancreas; Rupture

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