Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the larynx with transglottic involvement in a child: A case report

December 31, 2012
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Mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) of the larynx is one of the rarest tumors in the pediatric age group. Our review of the English-language literature found only 1 previously reported case of a laryngeal MEC in a child. We present what to the best of our knowledge is the first case of a pediatric MEC of the larynx with transglottic involvement. Our patient was a 12-year-old girl who presented with long-standing hoarseness and recent dysphagia, breathing difficulty, and pain radiating to the left ear. Investigation revealed the presence of an endophytic mass in the larynx. Histopathologic examination of biopsy tissue identified the mass as a low-grade MEC. The patient was scheduled to undergo a total laryngectomy 1 week later, but she did not report for surgery. Three weeks later, she presented to the emergency department in a semiconscious state and in respiratory distress. Despite all resuscitative measures, she died.


Primary malignant salivary gland tumors are uncommon among the pediatric population, accounting for less than 10% of all head and neck tumors in childhood.1 The most common tumor of the major and minor salivary glands is mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC), which represents 29 to 35% of all carcinomas at those sites.2 Among adults, laryngeal MEC is rare, as fewer than 100 documented cases have been reported to date.3

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