Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 147-148
Malignant fibrous histocytoma of the retroperitoneum

Department of Surgery, IGMC, Shimla - 171 001, India

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How to cite this article:
Devkaran B, Jhobta RS, Verma DK. Malignant fibrous histocytoma of the retroperitoneum. Saudi J Gastroenterol 2008;14:147-8

How to cite this URL:
Devkaran B, Jhobta RS, Verma DK. Malignant fibrous histocytoma of the retroperitoneum. Saudi J Gastroenterol [serial online] 2008 [cited 2021 Feb 25];14:147-8. Available from:


Malignant fibrous histocytoma (MFH) is the most common, malignant bone, and soft tissue tumor. [1]

A 60-year-old male was admitted with a history of progressive distention of the abdomen since the last 6 months, that was not associated with pain, fever, loss of weight and appetite, or abdominal trauma. Abdominal examination revealed gross abdominal distention; the abdominal girth was 150 cm. There was a 60 x 60 cm 2 intra-abdominal lump of variable consistency and an infraumbilical scar from a previous umbilical hernia repair procedure.

On ultrasonography (USG) and computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen, a huge mass of mixed echogenicity and that gave inconclusive fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) results, was found to be separate from the liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and the gut.

Exploration revealed a huge mass having solid and cystic components occupying most of the abdominal cavity, separate from the liver superiorly and the gut inferiorly [Figure 1]. Inferiorly, the mass was adherent to the transverse colon, which was resected along with the mass and an end-to-end colocolic anastomosis was done. The whole resected tumor was 60 x 40 x 30 cm 3 in size and weighed 32 kg. Cystic areas contained 1.5 l of dark brown fluid containing necrotic material. Histopathological examination revealed a fibrous histocytoma with mild pleomorphism, which was rare for such a large tumor. Postoperatively, the patient was given six cycles of chemotherapy consisting of Endoxan, Vincristine, Doxirubicin, and DTIC. CT of the abdomen showed no evidence of tumor recurrence after one year.

Malignant fibrous histocytoma first described by O'Brien and Stout in 1964, is the most common soft tissue sarcoma occurring in the later stages of adult life. [2] The male-to-female ratio of its incidence is 2:1 and its incidence peaks in the fifth and sixth decades of life. The extremities (70-75% of the cases) followed by the retroperitoneum are the sites affected by this sarcoma. [3] Uncommon locations include the head and neck region, dura mater, brain, lung, aorta, pancreas, liver, spleen, breasts, intestine, and the mesentery. [4]

The differential diagnosis of retroperitoneal MFH includes duplication cysts, pancreatic pseudocysts, cysticleiomyoma, leiomyosarcoma, teratoma, cysticmesotheliomas, lymphangioma, haematoma, abscess, and synovial sarcoma. [5]

Retroperinoneal MFH should be considered in the differential diagnosis of abdominal cystic masses in older adults. Surgical excision is the first choice of treatment for MFH and its local recurrence. Due to its frequent metastasis, it is important to perform wide resection of the tumor including the connective tissue, fascia and muscles around the tumor, and the regional lymph nodes. Hashimoto [3] reported survival rates of >5 years in 87% of the cases treated with wide resection in comparison vs. only 50% of cases treated with simple excision. When the tumor becomes large without outward symptoms, curative resection becomes more difficult. Dalton et al. [6] reported survival rates >5 years in 56 and 36% of the patients with tumors larger than 5 cm in size and those with infiltrating tumors, respectively. It is assumed that cases with large tumors and with tumors of retroperitoneal origin have poor prognoses with frequent hematological metastases.

Weiss and Enzinger [7] reported many advanced cases of MFH in whom the local recurrence and metastatic rates were 44 and 42%, respectively. According to Hashimoto, [3] metastasis has occurred in 61.5% of surgically treated patients within a year of surgery.

   References Top

1.Teruya T, Nagano T, Ooshiro O, Yamashiro K. Retroperitoneal malignant fibrous histocytoma: A case report. Ryuku Med J 1996;16:127-30.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.O Brien JE, Stout AP. Malignant fibrous xanthomas. Cancer 1964;17:1445-58.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Hashimoto H. Malignant fibrous histocytoma: A clinicopathological study of 130 cases. Fukuoka Acta Med 1979;70:585-613.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  
4.Bnneyon JN, Drouillard J, Rogopoulos A, Laurent F, Normand F, Balu MC, et al. Extraretroperitoneal abdominal malignant fibrous histocytoma. Gastrointest Radiol 1988;13:299-305.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Meyers MA. Dynamic radiolology of the abdomen: normal and pathologic anatomy. New York: Springer Verlay; 1994;138.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Dalton RR, Donohue JH, Mucha P Jr, VanHeerden SA, Reiman HM, Chen S. Malignant retroperitoneal sarcomas. Surgery.1989;106:725-33.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Weiss SW, Enzinger FM. Malignant fibrous histocytoma. An analysis of 200 cases.Cancer.1978;41:2250-66.  Back to cited text no. 7    

Correspondence Address:
Bhavesh Devkaran
Department of Surgery, IGMC, Shimla - 171 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.41737

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