Autopsy and Case Reports
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Abdominal Actinomycosis misdiagnosed as liposarcoma

Eunice Vieira e Monteiro; Joana Gaspar; Claudia Paiva; Raquel Correia; Vitor Valente; André Coelho; Nuno Jorge Lamas

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ABSTRACT: Actinomycosis is an uncommon, endogenous, and chronic infection with varied and nonspecific clinical features such as abdominal, pelvic or cervical masses, ulcerative lesions, abscesses, draining fistula, fibrosis, and constitutional symptoms. The disease ensues when the bacteria disrupt the mucosal barrier, invade, and spread throughout interfascial planes. Currently, the diagnosis of actinomycosis is challenging because of its very low frequency and depending on the clinical presentation it may masquerade malignancies. Therapy consists initially in intravenous penicillin, followed by an oral regimen that may be extended until a year of treatment. A timely diagnosis is crucial to avoid extensive therapeutic attempt as surgery. However, a biopsy or drainage of abscesses and fistula’s tract may be required not only as a diagnostic procedure as part of the therapy. We report the case of a 72-year-old woman with an abdominal mass initially misdiagnosed as a liposarcoma. A second biopsy of a skin lesion of the abdominal wall made the diagnosis of actinomycosis, avoiding a major surgical procedure. The patient was treated with a long-term course of antibiotics with favorable outcome. Liposarcoma was ruled out after the patient’s full recovery with antibiotics and the misdiagnosis was credit to the overconfidence on the immunohistochemical positivity to MDM2.


Abdominal actinomycosis, liposarcoma, challenging diagnosis


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