Linitis plastica

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Linitis plastica
Linitis plastica.jpg
Endoscopic image of linitis plastica, where the entire stomach is invaded with stomach cancer, leading to a leather bottle like appearance.
Classification and external resources
Specialty oncology
ICD-10 C16.9
ICD-9-CM 151.9
ICD-O M8142/3
MeSH D008039

Linitis plastica, also known as Brinton's disease or leather bottle stomach, is a morphological variant of diffuse (or infiltrating) stomach cancer.

Causes of linitis plastica could be lye ingestion or metastatic infiltration of the stomach, particularly breast and lung carcinoma.[1] It is not associated with H. pylori infection or chronic gastritis. The risk factors are undefined, except for rare inherited mutations in E-cadherin, which are found in about 50% of diffuse-type gastric carcinomas.[1]


Endoscopic image of linitis plastica, a type of stomach cancer where the entire stomach is invaded, leading to a leather bottle-like appearance with blood coming out of it.

Diffuse stomach cancer is characterized by the presence of poorly differentiated tumor cells. Microscopic appearance is signet ring cell carcinoma, which is tumor cells with mucin droplet that displaces the nucleus to one side.

The appearance of the stomach is like a "leather bottle".[2] It is characterized by a thick, rigid stomach wall caused by diffuse infiltration of tumor cells and extensive fibrosis.

Diarrhea may be a presenting symptom.

Notable cases[edit]

Napoleon Bonaparte and many members of his family are thought to have died from this type of cancer, although it is believed by others that he may have died from arsenic poisoning.[3]


  1. ^ a b Robbins Basic Pathology, 8th Edition
  2. ^ "linitis plastica" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. ^ Bevan S, Houlston RS (1999). "Genetic predisposition to gastric cancer". QJM : Monthly Journal of the Association of Physicians. 92 (1): 5–10. doi:10.1093/qjmed/92.1.5. PMID 10209666. 

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