Pure testicular choriocarcinoma with gastrointestinal metastasis and paraneoplastic symptoms: a case report

BMC Urol. 2023 Jun 3;23(1):102. doi: 10.1186/s12894-023-01271-0.


Background: Pure testicular choriocarcinoma is a rare type of non-seminomatous germ cell tumor extremely poor prognostic with the tendency to bleed at the metastatic site. At the time of the diagnosis, 70% of patients have metastatic lesions. Depending on the site of the metastasis, symptoms vary. Gastrointestinal involvement is seen in less than 5% of cases, mostly in the duodenum.

Case presentation: We present a 47 years old male with testicular choriocarcinoma involving the jejunum, lung, liver, and kidney presenting with acute abdominal pain, melena, and dyspnea with some paraneoplastic symptoms. The patient had increased, severe and constant pain in the right lower quadrant for the previous four days. Additionally, he was complaining of nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and a history of melena for the last 10 days. Dyspnea on exertion, hemoptysis, and dry cough were the symptoms he was suffering from, for almost one year. The patient's general appearance was pale, ill, and thin with 10 kg of weight loss during the last some months. The computed tomography (CT) scan reported multiple metastatic lesions in both liver lobes and the left kidney. Pathologic study of the samples of small bowel lesions showed metastatic choriocarcinoma. Following the patient had been referred to an oncologist to start the chemotherapy regime. Finally, the patient has expired after 40 days of his first admission.

Conclusions: Testicular choriocarcinoma is a rare but fatal malignancy among young men. Gastrointestinal metastases are infrequent involvement represented by melena and acute abdominal pain, obstruction, and mass. Physicians should consider it as a differential diagnosis for acute abdomen and gastrointestinal bleeding causation.

Keywords: Acute abdomen; Case report; Gastrointestinal metastases; Melena; Paraneoplastic symptoms; Testicular choriocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Choriocarcinoma* / complications
  • Choriocarcinoma* / diagnosis
  • Choriocarcinoma* / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melena
  • Middle Aged
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / complications
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / diagnosis

Supplementary concepts

  • Nonseminomatous germ cell tumor