Carcinosarcoma of the Esophagus - A case report

Nobushige Yabe, Shinji Murai, Chikara Kunugi, Jyunpei Nakadai, Ippei Oto, Takahisa Yoshikawa, Kenjiro Kitasato, Hirotomo Shimizu, Hirotoshi Hasegawa, Yuko Kitagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The patient was a 79-year-old male complaining of fever, loss of appetite, cough, and a feeling of obstruction when swallowing. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted as an emergency case the same day. Because an esophagus space-occupying lesion was observed on chest computed tomography (CT), in addition to evidence of pneumonia, an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed. A tumor, protruding into the lumen of the esophagus, was seen in the midesophagus, 25-30 cm from the incisors. Because of the narrow lumen, only a fine caliber fiber could be passed. Biopsy results indicated only necrotic tissue, and a repeat biopsy was performed, with similar histological findings. No esophagobronchial fistulas were observed during bronchoscopy. We therefore diagnosed the patient with aspiration pneumonia, secondary to esophageal narrowing by a tumor. A preoperative diagnosis of cancer could not be made, and no distant organ metastasis was detected, but surgery was indicated because of the narrowing of the esophagus, regardless of the possibility of cancer. After the pneumonia improved, total thoracic esophagectomy was performed through a right thoracolaparotomy, plus a 3-region cervico-thoraco-abdominal lymph node dissection. Pathological examination of the surgical specimen revealed autolysis of the superficial layer with progression to necrosis and associated inflammation. The majority of the tumor was composed of spindle-shaped atypical cells, but because a very small transitional area between squamous cell carcinoma and sarcoma was noted, a diagnosis of carcinosarcoma was made. Depth of invasion was sm3, and no regional lymph node metastasis was detected. The patient's disease was classified as pT1b (sm3) N0M0, Stage I. No definite diagnosis was made preoperatively. Although carcinosarcoma of the esophagus is rare, the endoscopic findings are characteristic. We report this case with a review of the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2027-2029
Number of pages3
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer and Chemotherapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov


  • Carcinosarcoma
  • Endoscopic findings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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