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Rhabdomyoma of the Larynx: A Case Report and Literature Review of a Rare Tumor in an Uncommon Location

      Summary

      Objectives

      Laryngeal rhabdomyomas are extremely rare, benign striated muscle tumors that have been documented only ∼50 times in the literature. They can be subdivided into two types: fetal and adult types, with the adult type being more common. Common presenting symptoms include hoarseness or progressive dysphagia. Diagnosis is made via immunohistochemical and microscopic analysis. Management is typically surgical, most commonly endoscopic, or open resection.

      Methods

      A comprehensive literature review was conducted with PubMed's MEDLINE index using the following search string: “rhabdomyoma” AND (”larynx” OR “laryngeal” OR “head” OR “neck”). After exclusion criteria were applied, a total of 58 cases were included. The purpose of our literature review was to elucidate information about age/gender, location, size, chief complaint and duration, treatment, and recurrence from each of the 58 cases to identify trends that could guide future diagnosis and management.

      Results

      The average age at diagnosis of laryngeal rhabdomyoma was 52.6 years with a 2.22:1 male predominance. Hoarseness and/or dysphonia was the most common chief complaint (42/58 cases, 72%), followed by dysphagia (12/58 cases, 21%). Common treatment options included endoscopic excision (18/48 cases, 37.5%) or open surgical resection (10/48 cases, 21%). Tumor recurrence was reported in 5/40 cases (14%), most likely due to incomplete removal of the tumor.

      Conclusions

      Although laryngeal rhabdomyomas are rare, they should be considered in the differential diagnosis for patients with a submucosal laryngeal mass. Curative treatment is surgical via endoscopic resection. It is the preferred technique because of decreased morbidity compared to open resection. However, endoscopic resection was shown to have both higher rates of recurrence and shorter time to recurrence compared to open resection, necessitating frequent postoperative surveillance.

      Key words

      Abbreviations:

      RM (Rhabdomyoma(s))
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