Esophageal Leiomyoma: A 40-Year Experience
Esophageal leiomyomas, although infrequent, are the most common benign intramural tumors of the esophagus. They represent 10% of all gastrointestinal leiomyomas and frequently cause symptoms, necessitating resection. The Massachusetts General Hospital Pathologic Database was reviewed over a 40-year period for patients who underwent surgical resection of esophageal leiomyomas. Data analyzed included demographic information, presenting symptoms, tumor location, tumor characteristics and histology, diagnostic procedures, and treatment modalities/outcomes. Fifty-three patients were identified; 31 patients were symptomatic from their leiomyomas. Symptomatic patients presented at a mean age of 44 years old and exhibited a twofold male predominance. Mean tumor diameter among symptomatic patients was 5.3 cm, as compared to 1.5 cm in asymptomatic patients (p < 0.0001). Thirty of the symptomatic patients had solitary leiomyomas, and 1 patient had five separate leiomyomas. Eighty-four percent of the lesions in symptomatic patients occurred in the lower two-thirds of the esophagus, with epigastric discomfort being the most common presenting symptom. Among patients operated on solely for leiomyoma, 97% were enucleated without an esophageal resection. None of the leiomyomas showed malignant transformation or recurrence. All symptomatic patients had relief of symptoms, with no perioperative morbidity or mortality. In a large pathologic series, over half of all patients with esophageal leiomyomas were symptomatic. Larger tumors were significantly more likely to be symptomatic. Local enucleation by a variety of surgical approaches was accomplished in most patients. All symptomatic patients had relief of symptoms, with no perioperative morbidity or mortality. There was no observed tendency for malignant transformation or recurrence.