A retrospective study describing desmoid tumour characteristics and management at a private, nonprofit physical rehabilitation facility in Kampala, Uganda

  • Miriam Nyeko-Lacek
  • Andrew Hodges
Keywords: desmoid tumour, plastic surgery, fibromatosis, tumour recurrence, Uganda


Background: Desmoid tumours are rare fibroblastic tumours. They have a high rate of recurrence and can be locally destructive. Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CoRSU) runs CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, where the encountered desmoid tumours are often managed surgically. This study aimed to describe the demographics and management of patients presenting to CoRSU with desmoid tumours.

Methods: The CoRSU database was searched for any patients with diagnoses of “desmoid tumour” or “fibromatosis”. Histopathology reports were assessed to confirm diagnoses and patient eligibility. Descriptive statistics were calculated using the demographic and clinical data of the eligible patients.

Results: The initial database query returned 19 records of patients diagnosed with desmoid tumours. Two patients were excluded due to a lack of histopathologic data confirming their diagnoses, and a further 3 records had histopathologic findings that contradicted a desmoid tumour diagnosis. Fourteen patients with suitable histopathologic reports were included in the analysis: 6 males and 8 females, with a median age of 12 years (range, 5-35 years) at diagnosis. The most common tumour sites were the extremities, limb girdles, and chest wall. Three patients had at least 1 recurrence, each of whom had a primary tumour in the extremities or limb girdles.

Conclusions: In our small retrospective series, we observed that the demographic characteristics of desmoid tumour patients managed at CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital were similar to those reported for desmoid tumour patients elsewhere in the world. Younger patients more commonly developed extra-abdominal tumours, and abdominal tumours only occurred among patients aged 15 years or older. Most patients were managed surgically, in line with current recommendations.


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