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Sacrococcygeal teratoma: late recurrence warrants long-term surveillance

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Sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) is a rare childhood malignancy. Although overall survival is favorable, recurrent tumors are associated with poor outcomes. As most recurrences occur within 3 years of presentation, the utility of long-term surveillance is uncertain.


Patients with SCTs evaluated and managed by our pediatric surgery department between 1986 and 2013 were included. Details pertaining to laboratory values, operative findings, tumor histology, management, recurrence, and outcomes were recorded and analyzed.


During the study period, 40 children with the diagnosis of SCT were managed by our practice. Five (13%) developed a recurrence. The median age at the initial resection was day of life two (range day of life 0–2.5 years). The median time to recurrence was 5 years (range 5 months–15 years). Among those with recurrences, mature teratoma was the most common histological type on the initial resection (n = 3), with yolk sac and immature teratomas comprising the other two. At the time of recurrence, three patients had mature teratomas, and all are alive and well following resection. Two patients had yolk sac tumors at the time of recurrence and both died.


SCT can recur many years after the initial resection. Our findings suggest that all patients with SCT should be closely followed into adulthood.

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Correspondence to Benjamin E. Padilla.

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Padilla, B., Vu, L., Lee, H. et al. Sacrococcygeal teratoma: late recurrence warrants long-term surveillance. Pediatr Surg Int 33, 1189–1194 (2017).

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