Reactive nodular fibrous pseudotumor of the gastrointestinal tract and mesentery: A clinicopathologic study of five cases

Rhonda K. Yantiss, G. Petur Nielsen, Gregory Y. Lauwers, Andrew E. Rosenberg

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50 Scopus citations


Although the majority of mesenchymal lesions of the gastrointestinal tract are neoplastic in nature, nonneoplastic reactive processes may involve the gastrointestinal tract and mesentery, causing diagnostic confusion with more aggressive neoplasms, such as fibromatosis or gastrointestinal stromal tumors. In this study, we report a series of fibroinflammatory lesions of the gastrointestinal tract that we think represent a relatively cohesive group of tumors and describe the clinical and pathologic features of this entity, which we have termed "reactive nodular fibrous pseudotumor." The tumors affected five patients (four male and one female patient) who ranged in age from 48 to 71 years (mean 56 years). Two patients presented with acute abdominal pain without a significant past medical history, two had incidental lesions discovered during evaluation for other medical conditions, and one was found to have an abdominal mass. Three patients had a history of abdominal surgery. The tumors were multiple in three patients and solitary in two patients. In four cases, at least one of the tumors involved the small intestine or colon, and the lesion was confined to the peripancreatic soft tissue in one case. The tumors were firm, tan-white, ranged in size from 4.3 to 6.5 cm in greatest dimension, and were grossly well circumscribed. All of the lesions were of low to moderate cellularity and composed of stellate or spindled fibroblasts arranged haphazardly or in intersecting fascicles. Three cases had microscopically infiltrative borders. The stroma was rich in collagen, which was wire-like, keloidal, or hyalinized. Intralesional mononuclear cells were sparse but were more numerous peripherally and frequently arranged in lymphoid aggregates. Immunohistochemical stains demonstrated that all of the tumors stained for vimentin, 80% stained for CD117 or muscle specific actin, 60% stained for smooth muscle actin or desmin, and none of the tumors stained for CD34, S-100 protein, or anaplastic lymphoma kinase-1. Follow-up information was available in all cases: four patients had no residual disease following surgical resection (mean follow-up 16.3 months) and one patient who had an incomplete surgical resection had stable disease at 26 months. In summary, we report a series of distinct intraabdominal fibroinflammatory pseudotumors that we have collectively termed "reactive nodular fibrous pseudotumors." These lesions are uncommon and may infiltrate the bowel wall, thereby mimicking primary bowel neoplasms or intraabdominal fibromatosis. Recognition of these nonneoplastic lesions is important, as they pursue a benign clinical course, but may be confused with other mesenchymal neoplasms that require more aggressive treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-540
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential diagnosis
  • Fibroinflammatory tumor
  • Fibromatosis
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Mesentery
  • Reactive nodular fibrous pseudotumor
  • Sclerosing mesenteritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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