Spontaneous rapture of a germ cell tumor (GCT) metastases causing massive hemoretroperitoneum in a patient without choriocarcinoma component who has not received previous systemic chemotherapy is an exceedingly rare event. In such a devastating case scenario, a high index of clinical suspicion for early diagnosis and appropriate management is crucial.
We report on a 25-year-old male patient with a 4-month history of orchiectomy for testicular GCT (tGCT), who presented in the emergency department with acute abdomen and hemodynamic instability. Urgent computed tomography scan depicted a retroperitoneal mass measuring approximately 13 × 11.4 × 15 cm and massive intraperitoneal hemorrhage. Hemoperitoneum caused by spontaneous rapture of the metastatic retroperitoneal mass was suspected. COVID-19 pandemic-related deviation from the oncologic surveillance standards combined with COVID-19-related patient’s emotional distress and self-neglect had led to loss of opportunity for appropriate adjuvant chemotherapy, obviously leading to the development of this devastating complication. An emergency, surgical exploration was decided. The bleeding mass was adequately exposed following a Cattell-Braasch maneuver and active bleeding was controlled by a challenging resection of approximately 80% of the lymph node mass volume. Pathological evaluation of the specimen revealed teratoma with low volume of yolk sac tumor component and extensive necrosis, findings compatible with the patient’s history. Postoperative recovery was uneventful, followed by early start of adjuvant chemotherapy. Two years after the operation the patient is doing well with no evidence of recurrent disease.
Massive hemoperitoneum is a devastating event that exceedingly rarely can complicate the clinical course of patients with advanced tGCT. Emergency surgical intervention is usually necessary however, sound judgement and careful surgical techniques are required for a positive and uneventful outcome. During COVID-19 pandemic, first-line medical personnel push their limits further not only to ensure health care services standards but also, to manage unpredictable, life-threatening cancer-related complications, associated with COVID-19-related deviation from appropriate oncologic surveillance and care.

© 2023. The Author(s).