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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1996 Apr;166(4):781-7.

Fibrovascular polyps of the esophagus: clinical, radiographic, and pathologic findings in 16 patients.

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Department of Radiologic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC, USA.



Fibrovascular polyps of the esophagus are rare benign nonneoplastic intraluminal masses. Most published reports of patients with these polyps have been anecdotal. The purpose of this study was to reassess the clinical, radiographic, and pathologic findings in a relatively large series of patients with this unusual tumorlike lesion.


A search of the radiologic archives of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology revealed 16 cases of fibrovascular polyps of the esophagus. We reviewed the clinical, radiographic, and pathologic findings in these 16 cases.


All 16 patients were symptomatic. Fourteen (87%) had dysphagia and four (25%) had respiratory symptoms. The average duration of symptoms was 17 months, but seven patients (44%) had symptoms for 6 or fewer months. Two patients (12%) had a history of regurgitating the tumor into the pharynx or mouth, but none had the known complication of asphyxiation due to occlusion of the larynx. Chest radiographs revealed a right-sided superior mediastinal mass and/or anterior tracheal bowing in seven patients (44%). Barium studies revealed smooth but variably lobulated intraluminal masses that originated in the lower cervical esophagus and had variable sizes and distal extents, with an average length of 15 cm. Depending on the amount of fat and fibrovascular tissue in the lesion, CT revealed a heterogeneous appearance in four patients, lesions of predominantly fat density in two, and lesions of predominantly soft-tissue density in two.


Knowledge of the clinical and radiographic features of fibrovascular polyps of the esophagus is important because surgical removal of these lesions is warranted in most patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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