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Giant cell tumor of the masticator space: Case report and literature review

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November 22, 2011
by Melissa L. Somers, MD, Scott A. McLean, MD, PhD, and Frank Torres, MD


Giant cell tumors of the head and neck are rare. We describe the case of a 50-year-old man who presented with otalgia and eustachian tube dysfunction. After his symptoms persisted despite aggressive medical management, further investigation revealed the presence of a firmness in his left parotid tail. Computed tomography identified a heterogeneously enhancing mass in the left masticator space. The tumor was removed surgically, and it was diagnosed on histopathology as a giant cell tumor. The patient recovered uneventfully and was closely followed for signs of recurrence. To the best of our knowledge, ours is the first reported case of a giant cell tumor in the masticator space. We review the literature on giant cell tumors of the head and neck, with particular attention given to cases involving the temporomandibular joint.

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