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Journal of Case Reports
Giant Multiple Bilateral Angiomyolipoma

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Mohammed R. Aljumaili1, Samy M. Arafat1, Radhakrishnan Kumaran1,  Mustafa Y. Rashid Al-badra2, Yosr A. Hassan2, Ayman Saleh3
Department of Urology1 and Radiology2, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Hospital, Ajman, UAE; Department of Radiology3, Dubai Hospital, Dubai, UAE.
Corresponding Author:
Dr. Mohammed R. Aljumaili
Email: maljumayli@yahoo.com 
Received: 08-FEB-2016 Accepted: 23-APR-2016 Published Online: 05-JUN-2016
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17659/01.2016.0059
Introduction: Angiomyolipoma is a benign renal tumor, possibly derived from epithelioid cells surrounding blood vessels. The tumor consists of multiple vessels, smooth muscle and adipose tissue. Angiomyolipoma constitutes less than 10% of renal tumors, with autopsy series about 0.3% and ultrasound screened populations around 0.13%. Angiomyolipoma is more common in females, rare before puberty, suggesting a potential hormonal influence. Case Report: We are reporting a case of multiple, bilateral angiomyolipomas in a young lady with tuberous sclerosis presented for the first time with acute spontaneous retroperitoneal bleeding and hypovolemic shock. CT scan was diagnostic and because of high risk of bleeding, biopsy was not recommended for this case. The mainstay of treatment was selective embolization which provides the nephron-sparing approach necessary to preserve renal function and overall quality of life. Conclusion: Preservation of renal function and overall quality of life are the main target in the management of this urologic dilemma and whether conservative medical treatment followed by intervention is superior to emergency intervention (embolization; open or laparoscopic/robotic partial nephrectomy) remains the sole question to be answered in the future.
Keywords : Angiomyolipoma, Epithelioid Cells, Kidney Neoplasms, Nephrectomy, Tuberous Sclerosis.

Angiomyolipoma is a rare benign renal tumor consisting of multiple vessels, smooth muscle and adipose tissue. The tumor is initially considered to be a form of hamartoma [1,2]. Angiomyolipoma constitutes less than 10% of renal tumors, with autopsy series about 0.3% and ultrasound screened populations around 0.13% [3,4]. Angiomyolipoma is a single asymptomatic tumor commonly seen in middle aged woman, rare before puberty, suggesting a potential hormonal influence [5,6].

    Although most often sporadic, it can also be associated with the autosomal dominant tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Approximately 50% of patients with TSC develop angiomyolipomas, typically young age female with symptomatic tumors [1,2,7,8]. Those patients may develop renal cysts and at higher risk of developing RCC and lymphangioleiomyomatosis [9,10]. The Wunderlich syndrome, or massive retroperitoneal hemorrhage, representing the most significant complication and was reported in up to 10% of renal angiomyolipoma [1,9,11,12]. Pregnancy appears to increase the risk of bleeding from angiomyolipoma, a factor that can influence clinical decision making [1]. Most tumors are now diagnosed incidentally during radiologic workup of unrelated complaints; angiomyolipoma is confidently diagnosed on cross-sectional imaging [6,13]. For optimum management, treatment must be individualized. Joint decision and patient preference were considered crucial for the patient’s best interest.

Case Report

A 36 years old woman, from Palestine, presented in November 2015, with sudden, severe, right side abdominal pain associated with vomiting. She denied history of hematuria, fever and lower urinary tract symptoms. She was married for 5 years with no children and there was no significant past history or family history. On physical examination at time of presentation, the patient looked anxious, pale with extensive dark brown skin pigmentations involving the face in butterfly distribution and trunk, patient was a febrile with tachycardia and hypotension. The abdomen was diffusely distended, tender with bilateral flank mass and no added sounds.

    Preliminary blood and urine tests revealed, normocytic–normochromic anemia, borderline renal function with no pyuria or hematuria. Soon after resuscitation with 2 units packed red blood cells and 4 units of plasma expanders, patient was stable and transferred for radiological assessment. Ultrasonography and CT scan revealed massive retroperitoneal hemorrhage; bilateral, multiple angiomyolipoma; right lower pole heterogeneous mass suggestive of RCC; left hydronephrosis [Fig.1,2] and intracranial calcifications (cerebral - subepindymal) [Fig.3]. CT – angiography showed three right side aneurismal dilatations (bleeding sites) which confirm the diagnosis and management plan was formalized [Fig.4,5].

    The  condition, treatment options (conservative versus intervention; open versus embolization), the availability of therapeutic intervention (selective embolization was not available in our health care facility) and future expectations (uremia, dialysis, renal transplant), were explained to the patient and decision was made to carry on conservative treatment followed by elective, selective embolization of the right kidney and reassessment for further management.

    Conservative management consisted of strict bed rest, light diet, intravenous fluids and prophylactic antibiotic of third generation cephalosporin. Patient was daily followed clinically, biochemically and radiologically. During follow up, patient developed low grade fever which was managed by antipyretics and subsided within 3 days. At 7th day post-admission, patient was stable and transferred for selective right renal artery embolization which was successfully done [Fig.6-9].

    Patient was appointed for strict follow up program to assess general condition, results of embolization and renal function. Two months later, a part from regression of the tumor masses and hematoma, patient was unremarkably well and clinically stable. Patient was advised to consult a medical facility with kidney transplant capabilities.


Angiomyolipoma is the commonest cause of acute spontaneous retroperitoneal bleeding. The presence of fat [confirmed on nonenhanced thin- slice CT by a value of -20 Hounsfield Units (HU) or less] within a renal lesion is considered diagnostic [13,14]. Despite the radiographic stigmata of angiomyolipoma the diagnosis can be confused with, fat-containing RCC, and possibility of a fat-poor angiomyolipoma resembling an RCC [15,16]. Because of the nonspecific nature of these findings most patients are often treated as having a presumed RCC. However, these radiographic findings may prompt the urologist to consider a percutaneous biopsy [17]. Eble and colleagues published their experience of five patients who had angiomyolipoma with a predominant epithelioid component; this malignant epithelioid variant of angiomyolipoma that can metastasize has been further described in patients with and without TSC [1,3,18].

    For optimum management, treatment must be individualized. Therefore it should take into account tumor characteristics (size; number; laterality), clinical presentation (bleeding, shock) and other factors (pregnancy) [19]. Even large tumors can remain asymptomatic for long time reinforcing the concept that size represents a continuum of risk, not an absolute phenomenon [20,21]. Preservation of renal tissue remains a priority in those with TSC or multiple angiomyolipoma, particularly in patients with underlying renal insufficiency. Women of childbearing age and patients with limited access to medical facility or to emergency care should also be considered for a proactive approach [3]. A nephron-sparing approach, by either selective embolization or partial nephrectomy is clearly preferred by patients requiring intervention. Selective embolization should be considered as first-line therapy in patients with acute life-threatening hemorrhage, because in this particular situation, surgical exploration is often associated with total nephrectomy [19-21]. However, patients need extended follow-up after selective embolization, which would not be required after partial nephrectomy [3]. Ablative therapies have also been utilized for the treatment of angiomyolipoma, but follow-up remains short and the evaluation of success remains poorly defined [22,23].


Giant, multiple, bilateral, angiomyolipoma in patient with tuberous sclerosis presented as Wunderlich syndrome is a urologic dilemma. Preservation of renal function and overall quality of life should be a priority. Selective embolization as a nephron – sparing approach is the main stay of conservative management which fulfills our target. Joint decision and patient preference were considered crucial for the patient best interest. Conservative medical treatment followed by intervention versus emergency intervention (embolization; open or laparoscopic/robotic partial nephrectomy) remain the sole question to be answered in the future.

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R. Aljumaili M, M. Arafat S, Kumaran R, Y. Rashid Al-badra M, A. Hassan Y, Saleh AGiant Multiple Bilateral Angiomyolipoma.JCR 2016;6:237-242
R. Aljumaili M, M. Arafat S, Kumaran R, Y. Rashid Al-badra M, A. Hassan Y, Saleh AGiant Multiple Bilateral Angiomyolipoma.JCR [serial online] 2016[cited 2020 Sep 19];6:237-242. Available from: http://www.casereports.in/articles/6/2/Giant-Multiple-Bilateral-Angiomyolipoma.html
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