n South African Journal of Surgery - Adenocarcinoma in a retrorectal cystic hamartoma : case report

Volume 45, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Retrorectal cystic hamartomas are rare congenital lesions derived from the vestigial portion of the embryonic hindgut. These lesions present in a vague manner and so mimic the presentation of more common mass lesions in the pelvic region. They most frequently afflict middle-aged women, causing vague pelvic pains, discomfort with defaecation or sitting, and altered bowel function. Malignant transformation within these lesions is extremely rare.

We describe a case of adenocarcinoma within a retrorectal cystic hamartoma, initially manifesting in a 54-year-old woman and recurring over a 5-year period. A computed tomography (CT) scan and pathology reports are included in the study, and findings at operations are discussed. We also include a comprehensive review of the literature.

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