Head and neck lipoblastoma in children: A case report and systematic review

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2023 Oct:173:111699. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2023.111699. Epub 2023 Aug 16.


Background: Lipoblastoma is a rare and benign tumor arising from embryonal fat cells. It develops primarily in infancy and early childhood. We present a case study of a 10-month-old child treated for an extensive tumor of the infratemporal fossa and parapharyngeal space. The systematic review of 60 reports in 80 children with lipoblastoma of the head and neck is also reported.

Material and methods: Systematic review of all articles included lipoblastomas of the head and neck area in children published from 1964 to 2022 in the PubMed database was conducted. Clinical presentation of extensive lipoblastoma of the head and neck in a child.

Results: On the basis of all inclusion criteria 83 articles were identified concerning pediatric lipoblastoma. There were 36 F (45%) and 39 M (48%), in 6 patients, (7%) gender was not specified. Ages ranged from 0mth (6h) to 15 yo (180mth). The tumor was located in the head in 22 (27%) cases, while the neck area accounted for 53 (65%) cases. General description without precise location was shown in 6 (7%) cases. All patients underwent complete surgical excision. Post surgical recurrence was noted in 6% clinical cases in the analyzed articles.

Conclusions: Lipoblastoma is characterized by a rapidly growing predominantly adipose mass. The treatment of choice is complete surgical excision. In selected cases when the pathology is hard to reach, as a consequence of the extensive penetration of the mass, we recommend performing the procedure with an interdisciplinary team. Endoscopy assistance and microdebrider significantly facilitated the removal of pathology in the described advanced case of lipoblastoma. This is the only case reported in the pediatric literature of a head and neck lipoblastoma, where due to extensive involvement and location of the disease the cranial nerves V2 and inferior alveolar branch of V3 could not be spared. Long-term follow-up even to 10 years is required because there is a reported tendency for these tumors to recur.

Keywords: Case report; Head; Infant lipoblastoma; Lipoblastoma; Neck; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lipoblastoma* / surgery
  • Neck
  • Parapharyngeal Space