, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 573-576

Sacrococcygeal teratoma: clinical course and prognosis with a special view to long-term functional results

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


From 1976 to 1995, 23 children, 4 boys and 19 girls, were treated at our department for sacrococcygeal teratomas (SCT). Their records were analyzed retrospectively, considering age at operation, histopathology, recurrences, and long-term evolution. One died on the 1st day of life following tumor rupture with hemorrhagic shock without surgical intervention. All others were operated upon at a mean age of 4.2 days for those 19 (=82%) who were diagnosed in the neonatal period and whose histology proved benign. In the remaining 3 children, in whom tumor manifestation did not occur before 11 months, 13 months, and 10 years of age, respectively, histopathologic evaluation revealed 2 carcinomas and 1 yolk-sac tumor, and all 3 recurred. Overall, 5 patients died, the 1 mentioned above, 1 due to volvulus after laparotomy, and 1 from multiple associated congenital malformations. Two deaths were related to malignancy, whereby only 1 was a malignant teratoma diagnosed at the original operation. Eight children had recurrences, 2 were benign and 6 malignant, with 3 of the latter having been graded benign on histology of the primary tumor. Of the 18 surviving patients, 17 (93.5%) returned for clinical review following a standardized protocol. The average interval from the primary surgery was 12.3 years (range 3.5–22 years). Four had malignant tumors with a recurrence-free period of from 9 to 14 years; 5 (29.4%) had urinary or anorectal functional impairment. One child with a patulous anus presented with fecal soiling. Two reported nocturnal enuresis, 1 associated with perineal anesthesia. One had a neurogenic bladder with overflow voiding and bilateral third-degree vesicoureteral reflux. Second-degree reflux was found in the last patient. We conclude that follow-up after surgery for SCT should not only search for tumor recurrence but include the diagnosis and treatment of possible secondary urinary and/or fecal incontinence.

Accepted: 26 April 1999