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Mediastinal mature teratoma in a Jehovah's Witness: Discrepancy between imaging and intraoperative findings

Mediastinal mature teratoma in a Jehovah's Witness: Discrepancy between imaging and intraoperative findings

International Journal of Surgery Case Reports 3(2): 49-51

Primary mediastinal germ cell tumors are exceedingly rare but may present with a wide spectrum of elements. The occasional mediastinal teratoma that presents completely comprised of mature elements is a benign tumor but the appearance on imaging studies may be more suggestive of an invasive tumor. The treatment is complete resection but the assessment of resectability based on computed tomographic imaging can be misleading. We present a case of a 26 year old female, Jehovah's Witness who presented with a symptomatic mediastinal mass that on CT scan appeared to be unresectable due to presumed invasion of adjacent structures including the left pulmonary artery. Surgical exploration revealed an encapsulated, completely resectable mass which was excised without difficulty. Her early postoperative course was uneventful and at 18 months follow up is doing well without evidence of recurrence. The treatment of mature teratoma is complete surgical excision but the imaging studies may at times be misleading. We believe this case presents a unique clinical situation, since mediastinal mature teratomas are very rare and in addition, the preoperative decision to excise a mass becomes more complex in a case of a Jehovah's Witness. This case illustrates that the CT findings may be misleading when assessing a mediastinal mass. Resectability of a mediastinal mass can only be assessed at the time of operation and rarely should operation be denied solely on the basis of findings on imaging. Thus in these primary mediastinal tumors there should be a low threshold for proceeding with operation.

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Accession: 036246704

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PMID: 22288043

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2011.10.010

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