Sacrococcygeal teratoma

Pediatr Surg Int. 2002 Sep;18(5-6):384-7. doi: 10.1007/s00383-002-0729-z. Epub 2002 Jun 19.


This retrospective study details our experience regarding 72 patients with sacrococcygeal teratoma treated over a period of 17 years. The sex incidence was nearly equal, but there was a high proportion of Altmann type IV tumors. A preliminary colostomy before combined abdominosacral excision of large type III and IV lesions reduced morbidity. Sixty-six percent of the patients presented beyond the neonatal period; 14 had been treated elsewhere for bowel/urinary obstruction. Imaging studies included radiography, abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging (after 1995). In 60 patients the tumor was excised via the sacral route, 11 had a preliminary colostomy, and 1 had a vesicostomy. Eight children (5 with malignant lesions) required abdominosacral excision. After 1990, serial estimation of serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) was used to monitor tumor recurrence. There were 34 male and 38 female patients (age range 3 days-12 years); 47 had benign tumors, of which 42 were excised through the sacral route. Three patients underwent a preliminary colostomy and abdominosacral excision of the tumor with subsequent colostomy closure. There were 4 deaths in this group; no recurrence was seen in the surviving children with benign tumors. Twenty-five patients had malignant teratomas. In 18 of these the tumor was excised via the sacral route and 5 underwent abdominal-sacral excision. Eight had a preliminary colostomy and chemotherapy followed by excision of the residual tumor and colostomy closure. None of the initial 14 patients with malignant lesions survived beyond 2 years. Of the latter 11 (who received cisplatinum-based chemotherapy), 10 were alive 1 year after surgery. One patient is currently on preoperative chemotherapy and another developed recurrence of the tumor. The overall follow-up ranged from 3 months to 8 years; there has been no complaint of functional neurological deficit in any of the patients. As intrapelvic tumors tend to have a delayed diagnosis, this can be avoided by performing a rectal examination. There should be no recurrence after excision of a benign teratoma. Cisplatinum-based chemotherapy has improved the survival of patients with malignant tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sacrococcygeal Region
  • Teratoma / diagnosis
  • Teratoma / surgery*