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01.12.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2012 Open Access

European Surgery 6/2012

Rare oesophageal tumours: experience of one centre

European Surgery > Ausgabe 6/2012
MD, PhD J. Zielinski, MD, PhD W.J. Kruszewski, MD, PhD R. Jaworski, MD, PhD I. Haponiuk, MD, PhD N. Irga, MD J. Zygon, MD, PhD A. Kopacz, MD, PhD J. Jaskiewicz


Aim of study

The aim of this study is to compare demographic and clinical data as well as applied treatment methods in patients with rare benign and malignant tumours of the oesophagus.


Eight hundred and thirty patients with oesophageal cancer were treated in the Department of Surgical Oncology in 1960–2005. In 15 cases (1.8 %), rare benign (n = 11) or malignant (n = 4) types of tumours were diagnosed. Patients with rare oesophageal tumours were included in the study, excluding those with squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus. Demographic and clinical data were analysed from each patient qualified for the study. Oesophageal X-rays with contrast medium, gastroscopies and, as of 1991, computed tomographies (CTs) were performed as preoperative diagnostic procedures.


In the postoperative histopathological examinations, all benign tumours proved to be oesophageal leiomyomas. Four different malignant tumours—a sarcoma, a neuroendocrine carcinoma, a lymphoma, and a squamous cell carcinoma in a patient with Crohn’s disease, were diagnosed in the other four patients. In a group of 15 patients with rare oesophageal tumours there were ten (66.7 %) males and five (33.3 %) females. In patients with benign and malignant tumours, the mean age for the benign group reached 44 years (range: 26–75 years old) and 54.7 years (range: 47–59 years old) for the malignant group. In the preoperative period, symptoms such as swallowing disturbances, retrosternal pains, and epigastric pains were observed. Dysphagia was the leading symptom in patients with benign and malignant oesophageal tumours.
Out of 15 patients, surgical procedure was carried out in 13 cases with rare oesophageal tumours. In the group of 11 patients, with benign tumours, ten (90.2 %) warranted surgical treatment. Three patients (75 %) with malignant oesophageal tumours underwent an extensive Akiyama procedure of oesophageal resection. Chemo- and radiotherapy alone were performed on one (25 %) patient with oesophageal lymphoma. Postoperative complications were observed in only four (26.6 %) patients; pneumonia in the postoperative period was diagnosed in two patients who underwent surgery; infections of the postoperative wounds were diagnosed in the other two patients.


Benign oesophageal tumours are characterised by similar clinical symptoms to malignant tumours of this organ. It is more complicated to obtain biopsy specimens for a histopathological examination in cases of benign tumours in comparison to malignant tumours. Treatment methods should be adjusted individually for each patient with a rare oesophageal tumour. For rare benign oesophageal tumours, the results of treatment are very good; however, for malignant tumours the prognosis depends on their histopathological type.

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