leiomyoma(gastrointestinal tract)

Last reviewed 01/2018

Leiomyomas arise from the muscle of the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract. They most commonly occur in the stomach in which they are the commonest benign tumour. They affect both sexes equally in the age range of 30-70 years.

Generally, leiomyomas only grow to a few centimetres in diameter and are an incidental finding on barium or endoscopic examination. Sometimes larger lesions occur and these may be a cause of intermittent gastric outlet obstruction, gastrointestinal blood loss, or even a palpable abdominal mass.

Morphologically, leiomyomas are pedunculated or sessile lesions. They are covered by normal mucosa.

The leiomyomas of the stomach project into the lumen and the mucosa at the apex may ulcerate producing a characteristic crater on a dome-like projection. An ulcerated lesion may result in insidious blood loss and anaemia. Rarely, perforation may occur.

Treatment is by excision and reconstruction of the stomach.