Primary gastric tumors of infancy and childhood: 54-year experience at a single institution

Jennifer L. Curtis, R. Cartland Burns, Larry Wang, G. Hossein Mahour, Henri R. Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background/Purpose: Primary gastric tumors are rare in infancy and childhood. Because of the infrequent occurrence of these tumors, the clinician may be unfamiliar with optimal management strategies. We review our experience over the past 54 years and the current literature. Methods: During the period extending from 1952 to 2006, 21 infants and children with primary gastric tumors were treated at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The series includes 8 cases previously reported and 13 additional cases seen since the initial report. Follow-up information is included. Results: There were 12 males and 9 females, aged 12 days to 18 years, who were diagnosed with gastric tumors. The patients presented primarily with weight loss, vomiting, or an abdominal mass. Morphological analysis revealed gastric stromal tumors (n = 6), teratomas (n = 4), lymphomas (n = 4), adenocarcinomas (n = 2), inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (n = 2), embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (n = 1), and hamartomas (n = 3). There were 16 patients still alive (mean follow-up, 22.3 months), whereas 6 died from active disease despite multimodal treatment. The deaths occurred in patients with stromal tumors, adenocarcinomas, lymphomas, and rhabdomyosarcoma. Conclusions: Gastric tumors in children are rare. A high index of suspicion is needed to diagnose these tumors. Most malignant tumors present at an advanced stage and carry a substantial rate of mortality. They should be completely resected whenever feasible. In the case of some malignancies, chemotherapy may play a major role. Metastatic evaluation should be performed in all patients with malignant gastric tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1487-1493
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastric tumor
  • Pediatric
  • Stomach
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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