An asymptomatic epiphrenic diverticulum (ED) was diagnosed in a man undergoing annual esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) at another hospital 40 years before he presented to our hospital at age 63 years for his annual EGD. However, because substantial food retention was found in the ED, we could not confirm a lesion. After the retained food was removed endoscopically, a second EGD showed a reddish, flat lesion with an elevated mass within the ED. Endoscopic ultrasonography indicated that the elevated mass was deep in the submucosal layer. An esophagram showed that the ED was approximately 80 mm in diameter, which is considered large. An endoscopic biopsy of the lesion confirmed squamous cell carcinoma. Total esophagectomy was performed. Microscopic examination revealed well-differentiated to moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma invading the adventitia at the elevated lesion. The final pathological stage was pT3N0M0. There was no evidence of recurrence for 3 years during the quarterly follow-up examinations. To our knowledge, this case involved the longest asymptomatic term (40 years) since the ED was detected. A review of 18 reported cases of carcinoma in an ED indicated that advanced cancer has a poor prognosis. Periodic follow-up of ED patients is essential for early diagnosis.
Keywords: Endoscopic ultrasonography; Epiphrenic diverticulum; Esophageal cancer; Esophageal diverticulum; Esophagectomy.