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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 65-69

Sister Mary Joseph's nodule of the umbilicus: Is it always of gastric origin? A review of eight cases at different sites of origin

Department of Surgery, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
F Al-Mashat
Department of Surgery, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.58862

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Objective : The aim of this analysis was to evaluate our management and outcome of eight cases of Sister Mary Joseph's Nodule of the umbilicus (SMJN). Methods : Between 2002 and 2009, we collected eight cases of SMJN and their clinical data were studied in a retrospective manner. Results : The mean age of the patients was 50.6 years (range, 34-58). There were three males and five females. Five cases were discovered preoperatively during an abdominal examination and in the remaining three patients, the umbilical nodule was noticed during surgery. Most patients presented with abdominal pain. Various signs were discovered during clinical examination. Exhaustive investigations done included ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, gastrointestinal endoscopy, mammogram, bone scan, and a panel of tumor markers. The primary tumors were gastric adenocarcinoma (two patients), ovarian adenocarcinoma (two patients), pancreatic carcinoma (one patient), colonic adenocarcinoma (one patient), gallbladder adenocarcinoma (one patient), and cholangiocarcinoma (one patient). As the disease was advanced and metastatic in all patients, only palliative therapy was offered. All patients died within a short period after clinical presentation, ranging from four to 58 weeks (mean, 20 weeks). Conclusion : SMJN is a rare manifestation of a variety of advanced malignancies, usually of gastrointestinal origin. A majority of the patients present at a late stage and many harbor distant metastases. The patient's survival is very short (mean, 20 weeks) leading to a poor outcome. We believe that if the primary cancer is discovered at an early stage, the prognosis may improve.


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