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June 1959

Benign Retroperitoneal Mesenchymoma (Hamartoma)

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(6):975-978. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320060163027

Retroperitoneal cysts are rare, approximately 70 such lesions having been recorded.1 Examples have been classified as (1) lymphatic, (2) enteric, (3) urogenital, (4) teratoid, (5) parasitic and inflammatory, and (6) traumatic.2 The vast majority of these cysts have been considered to be lymphatic in origin,1,3-7 and have variously been termed chylous cysts,2,3,6,8 lymphatic cysts,9,10 or cystic lymphangiomas.1,5

These tumors are usually asymptomatic, and most frequently present as an abdominal mass.1,2 Occasionally, the symptoms of intermittent partial intestinal obstruction, peripheral edema, or poorly localized abdominal pain may occur as a result of pressure on bowel, blood vessels, or nerves.2 Rarely, torsion of the pedicle of the cyst may result in actue abdominal pain, simulating other abdominal catastrophes.1,2

The purpose of this report is to describe a retroperitoneal cyst formed predominantly of lymphangiomatous elements, but which contained other structures, such as arteries, veins,