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Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 2004 Feb;29(1):32-7.

Paediatric rhabdomyosarcoma of the ear and temporal bone.

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Departments of Oncology and Otolaryngology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, London, UK.


The objective of the present study was to review the presentation, management, outcome and morbidity of paediatric patients presenting to a single centre with rhabdomyosarcoma of the ear and temporal region. All patients diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma of the ear and temporal region between 1980 and 2000 were entered into this retrospective study. Fourteen patients were identified. The median age at presentation was 4.5 years with a mean time of onset of symptoms to diagnosis of 21 weeks. In many patients, the presentation mimicked that of chronic otitis media, delaying diagnosis. Histological subtype was embryonal in 13 patients and alveolar in 1. All patients underwent multimodality treatment. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 81%. Regional post-treatment morbidity included chronic aural discharge (6/14), facial palsy (8/14), growth disturbance (4/14) and maxillo-facial deformity occurring in four children. From the results, we conclude that these patients should usually present to an ENT surgeon who should keep the diagnosis in mind when dealing with children with chronic otitis media as early diagnosis with referral to a specialist multidisciplinary team will optimize the chance of survival. Discharge, hearing loss and aural polyp, although commonly because of chronic otitis media, should prompt urgent investigation and biopsy, particularly if associated with facial palsy, lymphadenopathy or an obvious mass.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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