A perivascular epithelioid cell neoplasm (PEComa) in the chest is rare, let alone in the mediastinum and lung.
A 63-year-old man was admitted to our hospital with chest pain for more than 2 months and was found to have an opacity in his mediastinum and lung for 3 weeks. Enhanced chest computed tomography (CT) revealed a mass in both the left upper lobe and central anterior mediastinum. To identify the disease, a CT-guided percutaneous transthoracic needle biopsy of the upper left lung lesions was performed. The pathology result was consistent with epithelioid angiomyolipoma/PEComa. After a standard preparation for surgery, the neoplasms in the mediastinum and left lung were resected. The operative findings revealed extensive mediastinal tumor invasion in parts adjacent to the pericardium, including the mediastinal pleura, left pulmonary artery and vein, and phrenic nerve. The left lung tumor had invaded the lung membranes. The final pathologic diagnosis was malignant epithelioid angioleiomyoma in the left upper lung and mediastinum. Later, the mediastinal tumor recurred. The radiography of this case resembles left upper lobe lung cancer with mediastinal lymph node metastasis. Because this tumor lacks fat, the enhanced CT indicated that it was malignant but failed to identify it as a perivascular epithelioid cell neoplasm.
This case reminds clinicians that, although most PEComa are benign, some can be malignant. As the radiology indicated, chest PEComas lack fat, which makes their preoperative diagnosis difficult. Therefore, needle biopsy is valuable for a definitive diagnosis.