MR imaging of the retrorectal–presacral tumors: an algorithmic approach
AIM Retrorectal tumours are a rare and complex entity in adults and children. They present a varied symptomatology and their treatment is very different according to their histology. We aimed to evaluate our experience of tumours of the retrorectal space. METHOD Forty patients with retrorectal tumours were divided into two groups according to age. The variables analysed were sex, signs and symptoms, complementary examinations, surgical approaches, adjuvant therapies, pathological analyses, recurrence and survival. RESULTS Symptoms across the 30 adults varied--back pain (18) was the most common. Surgical intervention was performed on 20 patients; the rest were candidates for other treatments: five metastatic disease, two lymphomas and two Ewing tumour. The most common surgical approach was posterior, with 10 cases (50%). In all, 70% of adult tumours were malignant, with chordoma (30%) and metastases (20%) being the most common lesions. The most frequent benign lesion was hamartoma (10%). The 1- and 5-year mortality rates were 23.8% and 38.1%, respectively. In the paediatric group, three patients were diagnosed in utero. The symptoms among children varied and all were operated upon. The most frequent tumour was teratoma. Overall mortality was 20%. CONCLUSIONS Given their complexity, these tumours should be addressed by experts and all treatment options must be contemplated. They continue to present a challenge, above all in malignant tumours where the tumour cannot be controlled at a locoregional level.