Sacrococcygeal teratoma: Clinical characteristics and long-term outcome in Nigerian children

  • LB Chirdan
  • AF Uba
  • SD Pam
  • ST Edino
  • BM Mandong
  • OO Chirdan


Background/Purpose : The excision of sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) may be associated with significant long-term morbidity for the child. We reviewed our experience with SCT in a tertiary health care facility in a developing country with particular interest on the long-term sequelae. Methods : Between January 1990 and May 2008 inclusive, 38 consecutive children with the diagnosis of SCT were identified from the operation register and the Cancer Registry of the Jos University Teaching Hospital. Their clinical presentation, investigation, operative findings, histology report, and outcome were recorded and analyzed. The long-term follow-up of some of the patients were also recorded and analyzed. Results : There were 31 females and 7 males. Twenty-three patients presented during the neonatal period with a median age at presentation of 7 days (range 1-18 days) and a median weight at presentation of 2.8 kg (range 2.0-3.6kg), 10 presented between 1 month and 12 months, while 5 were older than 1 year at presentation. Most of the patients had significantly external tumors. Excision of the tumor was mainly by the sacral route, four had abdominal-sacral excision. Histology was mainly benign; four were malignant at presentation. Four children with malignant disease had chemotherapy in addition to excision of the tumor. Eight had immediate post-operative wound-related complications while three children died, two of the deaths were related to anesthesia, while one died of colostomy complications. Twenty-one (60%) were followed up for a median duration of 6 years (range 1 month-8 years). Two (9.5%) had recurrent disease after primary excision; five (23.8%) had some degree of functional impairment at the follow-up. Conclusion : While SCT is usually benign, recurrence, malignant transformations in patients who present late and long-term functional sequelae are problems that must be tackled by the care givers. A multi-center study may be necessary to characterize this disease in developing countries and assess the long-term functional sequelae in survivors

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