Management of ampullary tumours in children: still a challenge

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Abstract

This study describes the case of the youngest patient ever reported with ampullary adenoma. The incidence of ampullary adenomas in childhood is unknown. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound are used in adults to assess and treat these lesions, although there are no instruments designed specifically for use in young children. A six-year-old girl was admitted for abdominal pain, vomiting, pruritus and weight loss. Abdominal ultrasound showed biliary tree (8mm) and pancreatic duct dilatation (4mm). Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography and computed tomography confirmed these findings, and also showed displacement of the ampulla to the left upper quadrant. An upper endoscopy confirmed a large ampullary adenoma.

A laparotomy was performed and a 5cm villous tumour arising from the ampulla was excised. The postoperative course was uneventful. The histology demonstrated adenoma of the ampulla (intestinal type) without low-grade dysplasia. all clinical and radiological parameters are normal at 20 months follow-up.

We describe the case of the youngest patient ever reported with ampullary adenoma. Pancreaticoduodenectomy carries high morbidity and mortality rates, and therefore it should be avoided in absence of histologically proven malignancy. We believe that surgical ampullectomy is a safe and oncologically correct procedure until better endoscopic instruments for peadiatric use will be designed.

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