Nasopharyngeal mucoepidermoid carcinoma in children

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Apr;77(4):565-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2012.12.012. Epub 2013 Jan 5.


Salivary gland tumours represent 1-4% of all human neoplasms and less than 5% occur in children and adolescents. Malignant salivary gland tumours only represent 0.08% of all childhood tumours and mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is the most common histological type. The majority of MECs in the paediatric group are histologically classified as low or intermediate grade of malignancy, favouring a good prognosis. Complete excision of the lesion with free surgical margins is the treatment of choice and the one that offers the best local control of the disease. Experience with minor salivary gland carcinoma arising specifically within the nasopharynx is limited because nasopharyngeal MEC is an extremely rare malignancy and there is controversy regarding its optimal treatment. We hereby report a case of mucoepidermoid carcinoma arising from the nasopharynx in a 7-year-old girl, which was managed via an endonasal endoscopic procedure. To our knowledge the case we describe is the second case of nasopharyngeal MEC in paediatric age reported in literature and is the only one occurred in the first decade of life.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid / surgery
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Nasopharynx / pathology*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / surgery