Case reportAn unusual association of diffuse ... calculous cholecystitis: case presentation ... We...

Case reportAn unusual association of diffuse ... calculous cholecystitis: case presentation ... We report the case of a patient affected by chronic calculous cholecystitis with diffuse
Case reportAn unusual association of diffuse ... calculous cholecystitis: case presentation ... We report the case of a patient affected by chronic calculous cholecystitis with diffuse
Case reportAn unusual association of diffuse ... calculous cholecystitis: case presentation ... We report the case of a patient affected by chronic calculous cholecystitis with diffuse
Case reportAn unusual association of diffuse ... calculous cholecystitis: case presentation ... We report the case of a patient affected by chronic calculous cholecystitis with diffuse
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  • Di Carlo et al. BMC Gastroenterology 2010, 10:41http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-230X/10/41

    Open AccessC A S E R E P O R T

    Case reportAn unusual association of diffuse adenomyomatosis with dysplastic adenoma in chronic calculous cholecystitis: case presentationIsidoro Di Carlo*1, Adriana Toro1, Elia Pulvirenti1, Monica Zisa1 and Antonio Galia2

    AbstractBackground: Gallbladder adenomyomatosis is an epithelial proliferation and hypertrophy of the muscularis mucosae of the gallbladder. Rokitansky-Aschoff sinuses are a characteristic of this condition. The segmental adenomyomatosis has a higher risk of developing into gallbladder carcinoma, especially in the fundal region of elderly patients.

    We report the case of a patient affected by chronic calculous cholecystitis with diffuse adenomyomatosis associatedwith dysplastic adenoma.

    Case presentation: An 81-year-old woman presented at our hospital with a 1-year history of intermittent pain localized at the right upper abdominal quadrant, without diffusion to any other body part. On physical examination the abdomen was soft, not distended, and tender to palpation in the right upper quadrant. Murphy sign was negative. Laboratory tests were normal. The patient was scheduled for a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and neither endoscopic ultrasonographic scan nor magnetic resonance imaging was performed. The operation, performed after obtaining informed consent, was uncomplicated and the intra-operative pathological examination showed no malignancy. The definitive pathological examination of the gallbladder showed: multiple stones of cholesterol origin; diffuse mucosal adenomyomatosis; and a 1.1 cm pedunculated mass localized at the fundus, whose surface was lumpy. This mass was diagnosed as an adenoma with multiple areas of severe dysplasia.

    Conclusions: The adenoma of the gallbladder, together with the dysplasia, represents a biological carcinogenetic model. Carcinoma has rarely been reported in adenomyomatosis. Degenerative risk suggests surgery should be mandatory when there is a concomitant presence of large adenoma and adenomyomatosis.

    BackgroundGallbladder adenomyomatosis (GBA) is defined as anepithelial proliferation and hypertrophy of the muscularismucosae of the gallbladder with outpouching of themucosa into or through the thickened muscular layer,forming the so called Rokitansky-Aschoff sinuses, whichare a characteristic of this condition [1]. Gallbladder ade-nomas are benign tumors usually found as polyps; theyare relatively uncommon, ranging from 0.3% to 0.5% ofgallbladders removed by cholecystectomy [2].

    Segmental adenomyomatosis has a higher risk of devel-oping into gallbladder carcinoma, especially in the fundalregion of elderly patients [3]. Chronic calculous cholecys-

    titis with dysplastic adenoma associated with diffuseadenomyomatosis is not found in literature, and its dis-covery may be due to laparoscopic cholecystectomygreatly increased in the last two decades. We report thecase of a patient affected by chronic calculous cholecysti-tis with dysplastic adenoma associated with diffuseadenomyomatosis.

    Case presentationAn 81-year-old woman presented at our hospital with a1-year history of intermittent pain localized at the rightupper abdominal quadrant, without diffusion to anyother body part. The patient denied episodes of feverduring the previous months. Her medical history was sig-nificant for hypertension, transient ischemic attack(TIA), and sigmoid diverticulitis.

    * Correspondence: idicarlo@unict.it1 Department of Surgical Sciences, Organ Transplantation and Advanced Technologies, University of Catania, Cannizzaro Hospital, Catania, ItalyFull list of author information is available at the end of the article

    BioMed Central 2010 Di Carlo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative CommonsAttribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction inany medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=20423477http://www.biomedcentral.com/

  • Di Carlo et al. BMC Gastroenterology 2010, 10:41http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-230X/10/41

    Page 2 of 4

    The patient was alert and oriented during physicalexamination. The abdomen was soft, not distended, andtender to palpation in the right upper quadrant. Murphysign was negative.

    Laboratory tests were normal. Ultrasonographic scan(US) of the right upper abdominal quadrant showed mul-tiple gallstones. A heterogeneous, hypoechogenic pedun-culated mass, 1.1 cm in diameter, was found in the fundusof the gallbladder. The patient underwent an upper gas-trointestinal endoscopy (UGIE) that showed normal gas-tro-duodenal mucosa. Colonoscopy showed a smallpolyp, which was removed. The patient was scheduled fora laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Endoscopic US and mag-netic resonance imaging (MRI) were not performed. Theoperation was uncomplicated and the intra-operativepathological examination showed no malignancy. Thepostoperative course was unremarkable and the patientwas discharged on the first postoperative day.

    The definitive pathological examination of the gallblad-der showed: multiple stones of cholesterol origin; diffusemucosal adenomyomatosis (Figure 1); and a 1.1 cmpedunculated mass localized at the fundus (Figure 2),whose surface was lumpy. The mass was diagnosed as anintestinal type adenoma with mixed tubular and villousfeatures and multiple areas of severe grade dysplasia,present as nuclear enlargement, high nuclear to cytoplas-matic ratio, nuclear hyperchromasia, and large nucleoli(Figure 3). Immunohistochemical analysis showed a pre-malignant lesion of the gallbladder (Figure 4).

    ConclusionPolyps of the gallbladder can be differentiated into non-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions [4]. They can be solitaryor multiple; pedunculated or sessile; and they may have

    smooth, granular, or nodular surfaces. Non neoplasticpolyps can show a cholesterol origin, as a result of excesslipid deposits in the gallbladder epithelium, or an inflam-matory origin, as a consequence of chronic cholecystitis;the latter are usually composed of granulation and fibroustissue [5].

    Tumoral polyps may be classified as adenomas and ade-nocarcinomas. Sixty percent of gallbladder adenomas areassociated with cholecystolithiasis [6]. There is little datarelated to whether adenomas represent pre-malignantlesions. One study, which followed 109 asymptomaticpatients affected by polypoid lesions by US once or twicea year, identified only one case of gallbladder carcinoma[7]. On the contrary, other studies demonstrated largepolyps (>1 cm) are frequently malignant [4,6]. The inci-dence of malignant tumors increases significantly in

    Figure 1 Diffuse mucosal adenomyomatosis with zones of dysplasia (red circle in a), with the same image at high enlargement (b)

    Figure 2 Mass localized at the fundus of the gallbladder (adeno-ma).

  • Di Carlo et al. BMC Gastroenterology 2010, 10:41http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-230X/10/41

    Page 3 of 4

    lesions 10 mm or greater in size, and a considerable num-ber of lesions 15 mm or greater are malignant [8].

    Adenomyomatosis is an acquired, benign proliferativelesion of the gallbladder characterized by mucosal prolif-eration with invaginations and diverticula penetratinginto the thickened muscular layer (Rokitansky-Aschoffsinuses) [9]. Adenomyomatosis consists of three types:focal, segmental, and diffuse [10]. Segmental adenomyo-matosis has a higher risk of developing into gallbladdercarcinoma, especially in the fundal region of elderlypatients [10]. Nabatame et al. reported a higher incidenceof epithelial metaplasia in the fundal mucosa of segmen-tal adenomyomatosis than in the neck mucosa [10], withan associated risk of increased carcinogenesis.

    In our patient, we found an adenoma with signs ofsevere dysplasia inside areas of diffuse adenomyomatosis.This has not been reported and could represent a differ-

    ent risk for carcinogenesis. Chronic calculous cholecysti-tis with dysplastic adenoma associated with diffuseadenomyomatosis is not found in literature, and its dis-covery may be due to laparoscopic cholecystectomy,which has been increasingly used in the last two decades.

    Patients with adenomyomatosis and (or without) ade-nomas may present signs or symptoms of chronic chole-cystitis or acute-on-chronic cholecystitis such as rightupper quadrant pain, nausea, vomiting associated withmeals, or more unexplained signs [11]. However, themajority of patients are asymptomatic and the diagnosisof adenoma is usually rare. Our patient was symptomaticand clinical signs were probably related to lithiasis, buttheir relationship to adenoma or adenomyomatosis can-not be excluded.

    US is useful to diagnose adenoma and adenomyomato-sis, and could be sufficient in patients that should betreated surgically for symptoms or for the dimensions ofadenomas (>1 cm in diameter). In asymptomatic patientswith lesion smaller than 1 cm, MRI or ecoendoscopicultrasonography (EUS) may be used to obtain a differen-tial diagnosis [12]. EUS may be useful to differentiate nonneoplastic from neoplastic polyps of the gallbladder;however, caution should be used because some findingscan also occur in neoplastic polyps when they contain aconcomitant non neoplastic component (cholesterosis orproliferated Rokitansky-Aschoff sinuses). MRI may pro-vide important information for the diagnosis of adenom-yomatosis and may differentiate it from gallbladdercarcinoma. On MRI, these sinuses appear as small intra-mural foci of low T1 and high T2 signal intensity. Earlylinear mucosal enhancement is seen, which turns homo-geneous on