|Year : 2012 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 79-81
Submucosal colonic lipoma presenting with acute abdomen due to intestinal obstruction
Santosh Kumar Mondal1, Sanjay Sengupta1, Mamata Guha Mallick1, Nabankur Ghosh2
1 Department of Pathology, Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Surgery, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
|Date of Web Publication||21-Sep-2013|
Santosh Kumar Mondal
"Teenkanya Complex", Flat 1B, Block B, 204 R N Guha Road, Dumdum, Kolkata - 700 028, West Bengal
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Colonic lipomas are uncommon neoplasms. These tumors rarely produce symptoms. However, we encountered a middle-aged man presenting with features of acute intestinal obstruction. On laparotomy, a hard, irregular mass was identified at splenic flexure. Histological evaluation proved the mass to be a submucosal lipoma. We are presenting this case along with relevant discussions to underscore the fact that colonic lipomas can present as acute abdomen.
Keywords: Colon, lipoma, submucosal, symptomatic
|How to cite this article:|
Mondal SK, Sengupta S, Mallick MG, Ghosh N. Submucosal colonic lipoma presenting with acute abdomen due to intestinal obstruction. J Acad Med Sci 2012;2:79-81
|How to cite this URL:|
Mondal SK, Sengupta S, Mallick MG, Ghosh N. Submucosal colonic lipoma presenting with acute abdomen due to intestinal obstruction. J Acad Med Sci [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Jun 7];2:79-81. Available from: http://www.e-jams.org/text.asp?2012/2/2/79/118666
| Introduction|| |
Lipomas are the commonest benign mesenchymal tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. However, colonic involvement occurs uncommonly. Until 2001, only 275 such cases were reported in the English literature.  Commonly colonic lipomas are small (less than 2 cm in diameter), asymptomatic, and discovered incidentally. However, larger tumors may produce symptoms varying from alteration in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain to acute or subacute obstuctions. ,
Preoperative diagnosis of these tumors is often difficult. Even with available sophisticated imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), definitive diagnosis is only possible based on histopathological evaluation. , Endoscopic resection is therapy of choice for small colonic lipomas. However, larger tumors often require open surgery to relieve symptoms or exclude malignancy. ,
This study reports a case of colonic lipoma of splenic flexure presenting with acute abdomen.
| Case Report|| |
A 42-year-old male patient presented with features of acute abdomen characterized by vomiting, abdominal distension, pain, and constipation. There was past history of a similar episode 4months back, which was treated conservatively. On examination, the abdomen was found to be tense, distended with evidence of hyperperistalsis. Ultrasonography failed to detect any mass/tumor. A decision of explorative laparotomy was taken as no improvement occurred after conservative therapy.
On exploration, dilated small and large bowel loops up to the splenic flexure were found. There was a hard, irregular mass at the splenic flexure; no evidence of local or distantdissemination of the disease was found. A presumptive diagnosis of colonic carcinoma was made and standard left hemicolectomy with end-to-end anastomosis was performed. The patient recovered uneventfully.
Specimen of colostomy with growth was subjected to histopathological evaluation. Gross examination showed a large (4.0 cm × 3.5 cm × 2.0 cm), pedunculated, soft to firm globular mass in the splenic flexure with focal ulcerations [Figure 1].
|Figure 1: Gross photograph of the tumor showing a yellowish fatty mass in the splenic flexure|
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Microscopically, the tumor was present in the submucosa and the overlying mucosa showed focal ulceration. The tumor was composed of mature adipocytes separated by fibrous septa. Nuclear atypia, mitosis, and lipoblast were absent. Congestion and mild infiltration of inflammatory cells were also noted within the tumor [Figure 2.]. Thus, a final diagnosis of well-differentiated lipoma was rendered.
|Figure 2: Microphotograph showing the tumor composed of mature adipocytes and separated by fibrous septa. Congestion and mild infiltration of inflammatory cells were also noted within the tumor|
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| Discussion|| |
In 1757, Bauer first described lipomas of the gastrointestinal tract.  Reported incidence in the large bowel varies from 0.15 to 4.4%. Colonic lipomas are diseases that occur in the middle age, with a slight female prepondarance. , Lesions are usually solitary. Multiple tumors occur in only 6.1% cases.  Caecum and ascending colon are commonly involved.  Lipomas of the colon are usually small, well-circumscribed, submucosal, pedunculated or sessile, polypoid neoplasms.  Larger lesions are often reported. , Subserosal or intramucosal variants account for only 10% of the cases. 
Colonic lipomas are commonly asymptomatic. Only 6% cases produce symptoms. Neoplasms larger than 3 cm in diameter are more likely to produce symptoms.  Commonest presenting symptoms are rectal bleeding (54.5%), followed by abdominal pain (42.4%), and alteration of bowel habit (24.2%).  Other rare presentations include intestinal obstruction, perforation, intussusception, and rectal prolapse. ,,
Diagnosis of colonic lipoma is quite difficult. Majority (46%) of the lesions are discovered incidentally.  However, large tumors may be mistaken for more serious lesions due to variable presentations and rare occurrences. , CT scan and MR are preferred in this setup because of typical imaging characteristics for fatty tissue, but are not confirmatory.  Barium enema can identify the colonic mass as smooth and radiolucent with change in size and shape due to peristalsis (squeeze sign). , Colonoscopy is an important tool for diagnosis. Colonic lipomas less than 2 cm in diameter also can be removed by this process.  Characteristic findings of the neoplasms as evidenced during endoscopy include tentsign (elevation of the mucosa overlying the polyp with biopsy forceps), cushion sign (indentation of lipoma on pressing with biopsy forceps), and naked fat sign (extrusion of fat from biopsied tissue). , However, larger symptomatic lesions require open surgery with polypectomy or more extensive resection for diagnosis as well as management. 
Final diagnosis of the tumors can only be possible after histological examination. Intraoperative frozen section examination can reduce unnecessary extensive surgery.  Almost all the tumors show features of well-differentiated lipoma with enhanced lobulations and frequent presence of congestion, inflammatory changes, or surface ulcerations. , Rare cases may show histology of atypical lipomas with pseudosarcomatous features.  Colonic lipomas have excellent prognosis. Malignant change or recurrence after excision has still not been reported. ,,
In conclusion, in this study, we have described a rare presentation of an uncommon tumor mimicking a more serious lesion. We emphasize that the possibility of submucosal colonic lipoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of intestinal obstruction due to neoplasms.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2.]