BackgroundMediastinal teratomas occasionally rupture into the thoracic cavity, which induces mediastinitis or various other severe complications. Surgical treatment is crucial for ruptured teratomas; however, few literature reviews to date have addressed the characteristics of ruptured mediastinal teratomas.
Case presentationWe report a 29-year-old woman with severe mediastinitis owing to a mediastinal mature teratoma that ruptured into the mediastinum and right pleural cavity. Surgical resection by median sternotomy was performed within 24 hours after emergency admission. Intraoperative findings demonstrated the ruptured wall of the tumor with exposure of its white contents, which appeared similar to skin and fat, and necrotic tissue in the anterior mediastinum. The tumor was adhered to the right upper lobe, the ascending aorta, and pericardium. Owing to the severe adhesion of the tumor caused by inflammation in the surrounding tissues, a small portion of the tumor could not be removed, and hence complete resection with a sufficient surgical margin was not achieved. Pathologically, the tumor consisted of a solid mass and a cystic mass with severe adhesion to the resected portion of the lung, which included skin and lipid tissue. The tumor was concluded to be a mature teratoma as neither an immature component nor malignant transformation was observed. The patient had an uneventful postoperative course.
ConclusionsTo our knowledge, this is the report of successful surgical resection of a ruptured mediastinal teratoma causing severe mediastinitis, with the first literature review of ruptured mediastinal teratomas. We also discuss relevant findings from reports in the literature.