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Retroperitoneal ganglioneuroma with nodal involvement in an adult patient with human immunodeficiency virus: a case report and review of the literature.



Ganglioneuromas are a benign tumor originating from neural crest cells. As one of the neuroblastic tumors, ganglioneuromas are most common in children, with a mean age at presentation of 7 years. Ganglioneuromas are typically singular in nature, but rarely can present with lymph node involvement and distant metastasis. We present a rare case of a retroperitoneal ganglioneuroma found in a human immunodeficiency virus positive adult, which was complicated by lymph node involvement. This case is notable not only in regard to the age of the patient, but also because of his human immunodeficiency virus positive status and the extension of tumor to lymph nodes.

Case presentation

A 27-year-old Latino male with history of human immunodeficiency virus presented with a 6-month history of left upper quadrant and epigastric abdominal pain with associated nausea and vomiting. The patient had a computed tomography scan showing a retroperitoneal mass encasing the aorta, celiac axis, and superior mesenteric artery. Core needle biopsy revealed ganglioneuroma. Owing to obstructive symptoms, resection of the mass along with partial gastric resection, partial pancreatic resection, and splenectomy was performed by a multidisciplinary group of surgeons. Pathology results revealed metastatic spread of ganglioneuroma to surrounding lymph nodes.


Ganglioneuromas are most common in children and very rarely occur in adults. However, it is still important to consider this entity in the differential for patients presenting with suspicious symptoms. While rare, it is essential to consider metastasis in this generally benign disease.

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