Metastatic renal cell carcinoma to the small bowel 6 years postnephrectomy

BMJ Case Rep. 2023 Jul 18;16(7):e254939. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2023-254939.


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is an unpredictable malignancy, with 25%-30% of patients developing metastatic disease. The most common sites of metastasis are the lung, bones, liver and brain, with small intestine metastasis being minimally reported in the literature. This report describes a case of small bowel obstruction caused by metastatic RCC in a male patient in his 60 s who had previously undergone a radical nephrectomy with adjuvant pembrolizumab therapy 6 years prior. The patient underwent a diagnostic laparoscopy converted to a laparotomy due to the complexity of the case. During surgical exploration, an enterectomy and end-to-end anastomosis were performed. This case emphasises the possibility of RCC metastasising to the small intestine, which may present with small bowel obstruction, while highlighting the importance of patient education for early detection to improve prognosis. Additionally, this report discusses treatment options for managing RCC metastasis to the small intestine.

Keywords: Gastroenterology; Gastrointestinal surgery; Renal medicine; Small intestine cancer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction* / etiology
  • Intestinal Obstruction* / pathology
  • Intestinal Obstruction* / surgery
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / surgery
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Male
  • Nephrectomy / adverse effects
  • Prognosis