Myofibroma is the benign formation of smooth, muscle-like cells that form a tumor within fibrous connective tissue. It is somewhat unclear as to why myofibromas develop, but they can be found in most connective tissues, bones and the abdominal cavity. Myofibromas play significant roles in growth and differentiation as well as wound healing. They can also play a role in the formation of myofibroma cancer and other complications if left untreated.
Found in either adults and infants, myofibromas can appear as either solitary tumors or multicentric tumors. Myofibromas come in multiple variations, and a positive prognosis depends on whether there is visceral involvement — the presence of tumors in the vital organs. If the organs are impacted, mortality rates can increase, because these visceral lesions lead to organ obstruction, infection and, in most cases, death. Myofibroma with visceral lesions commonly result in death at birth, or shortly after birth, because of cardiopulmonary and gastrointestinal complications.
Solitary myofibromas occur in certain regions and generally have single submucosal nodules. Mulitcentric myfibromas have many submucosal nodules. In either case, the treatement of both solitary and multicentric myofibromas include surgery and a positive prognosis of spontaneous regression.
Oftentimes, myofibromas or myofibromatosis arise in infants, and they are most common in childhood during growth and development. Generally, infantile myofibromas can be surgically removed under general anesthesia with a low level of recurrence. These tumors can appear in any part of the soft tissue, bone or vital organs.
Found in adulthood, myofibromas can appear in any tissue and are common in the head and neck areas. They are also most prevalent in wound areas, where connective tissue repair is taking place and fibroblasts — cell groups that contribute to the formation of connective tissue fibers — form scarring. Areas that suffer repeated wounding will have a higher percentage of myofibroma formations. In most cases, these types of myfibroma tumors can be surgically removed.
Myofibroma tumors also play a vital role in the inflammatory process, producing intracellular adhesion molecules, along with vascular and neural adhesion molecules that facilitate the production of lymphocytes. These lymphocytes participate in inflammatory and immunological reactions that can lead to a state of disease. They can produce molecules such as collagen and glycosaminoglycans, which contribute to growth differentiation and wound healing. If left alone or misdiagnosed, these formations can produce tissue fibrosis, which can lead to cancerous diseases.
It is essential for a doctor to follow through after careful diagnosis, because most myofibroma tumors can be surgically removed with little or no difficulty. A misdiagnosis, however, might lead to the proliferation of fibrotic tissues. This can lead to the development of disease.