Vanek's tumor of the small bowel in adults

World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Apr 28;21(16):4802-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i16.4802.


Inflammatory fibroid polyps (IFPs), or Vanek's tumor, are one of the least common benign small bowel tumors. IFP affects both sexes and all age groups, with a peak of incidence in the fifth and seventh decades. They can be found throughout the gastrointestinal tract but most commonly in the gastric antrum or ileum. The underlying cause of IFPs is still unknown. Genetic study of IFP showed mutations in platelet derived growth factor alpha in some cases. At the time of diagnosis most IFPs have a diameter of 3 to 4 cm. The lesions have always been recorded as solitary polyps. Symptoms depend on the location and the size of the lesion, including abdominal pain, vomiting, altered small bowel movements, gastrointestinal bleeding and loss of weight. IFPs arising below the Treitz ligament can present with an acute abdomen, usually due to intussusceptions. Abdominal computed tomography is currently considered the most sensitive radiological method to show the polyp or to confirm intussusceptions. Most inflammatory fibroid polyps can be removed by endoscopy. Surgery is rarely needed. Exploratory laparoscopy or laparotomy is frequently recommended as the best treatment for intussusceptions caused by IFP. The operation should be performed as early as possible in order to prevent the intussusceptions from leading to ischemia, necrosis and subsequent perforation of the invaginated bowel segment. This report aims at reviewing the diagnosis, etiology, genetics, clinical presentation, endoscopy, radiology, and best treatment of IFP.

Keywords: Abdominal pain; Computed tomography scan; Inflammatory fibroid polyps; Intussusception; Small bowel; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Intestinal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Intestinal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Intestinal Polyps* / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Polyps* / genetics
  • Intestinal Polyps* / pathology
  • Intestinal Polyps* / surgery
  • Intestine, Small* / pathology
  • Intestine, Small* / surgery
  • Leiomyoma* / epidemiology
  • Leiomyoma* / genetics
  • Leiomyoma* / pathology
  • Leiomyoma* / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome