Author(s): Yantiss RK, Clement PB, Young RH
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Abstract Endometriosis of the intestinal tract may mimic a number of diseases both clinically and pathologically. The authors evaluated 44 cases of intestinal endometriosis in which endometriosis was the primary pathologic diagnosis, and evaluated them for a variety of gross and histologic changes. Cases with preneoplastic or neoplastic changes were excluded specifically because they were the subject of a previous study. The patients ranged in age from 28 to 56 years (mean age, 44 years), and presenting complaints included abdominal pain (n = 15), an abdominal mass (n = 12), obstruction (n = 8), rectal bleeding (n = 2), infertility (n = 3), diarrhea (n = 2), and increasing urinary frequency (n = 1). The clinical differential diagnoses included diverticulitis, appendicitis, Crohn's disease, tubo-ovarian abscess, irritable bowel syndrome, carcinoma, and lymphoma. Forty-two patients underwent resection of the diseased intestine and two patients underwent endoscopic biopsies. In 13 patients there were predominantly mural masses, which were multiple in two patients (mean size, 2.6 cm). In addition, 11 cases had luminal stenosis or strictures, six had mucosal polyps, four had submucosal masses that ulcerated the mucosa (sometimes simulating carcinoma), three had serosal adhesions, one had deep fissures in the mucosa, and one was associated with appendiceal intussusception. Involvement of the lamina propria or submucosa was identified in 29 cases (66\%) and, of these, 19 had features of chronic injury including architectural distortion (n = 19), dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates (n = 7), pyloric metaplasia of the ileum (n = 1), and fissures (n = 1). Three cases had features of mucosal prolapse (7\%), ischemic changes were seen in four (9\%), and segmental acute colitis and ulceration were seen in four and six cases (9\% and 13\%) respectively. In 14 patients, endometriosis formed irregular congeries of glands involving the intestinal surface epithelium, mimicking adenomatous changes. Mural changes included marked concentric smooth muscle hyperplasia and hypertrophy, neuronal hypertrophy and hyperplasia, and fibrosis of the muscularis propria with serositis. Follow-up of 20 patients (range, 1-30 years; mean, 7.8 years) revealed that only two patients had recurrent symptoms. None of the patients developed inflammatory bowel disease. Endometriosis can involve the intestinal tract extensively, causing a variety of clinical symptoms, and can result in a spectrum of mucosal alterations. Because the endometriotic foci may be inaccessible to endoscopic biopsy or may not be sampled because of their focality, clinicians and pathologists should be aware of the potential of this condition to mimic other intestinal diseases.
This article was published in Am J Surg Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System