An unusual case of an abdominal mass in a 3 year old

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Charlene Antony


iron deficiency anemia, children, bezoar, nutrition, developmental delay


An abdominal mass in a young child is a significant concern that requires urgent assessment. The differential diagnosis is often initially focused on malignancies including Wilm’s tumor, hepatoblastoma, neuroblastoma, and lymphoma. We present an unusual case of an abdominal mass in a 3 year old boy who clinically presented with post-prandial emesis and increasing fatigue. An upper GI series confirmed the presence of a gastric bezoar, which upon surgical removal was found to be composed of human hair and carpet fabric. His laboratory studies had revealed a severe iron-deficiency anemia, which required a transfusion prior to surgery. In addition, the child also presented with associated fine motor and language delays. This case highlights the importance of primary prevention of iron deficiency amongst infants and toddlers.