Tracheobronchial mucoepidermoid carcinoma in childhood and adolescence: case report and review of the literature

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1998 Oct 15;45(3):265-73. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5876(98)00120-7.


In children and adolescents, primary neoplasms of the tracheobronchial tree and lungs are rare, with most tumors involving the respiratory system being metastatic, small, blue cell tumors of childhood. Of the primary pulmonary neoplasms, most are malignant with mucoepidermoid carcinoma representing about 10% of these malignant tumors. We present an 8-year-old Hispanic male with hemoptysis and several episodes of pneumonia which initially was thought to be infectious upon biopsy during bronchoscopy, but proved to be mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the tracheobronchial tree by microscopic examination during an open lung biopsy. This rare tumor is more common in adults than in children, and infrequently presents with hemoptysis. Mucoepidermoid tumors of the tracheobronchial tree carry a more favorable prognosis in children than adults. In the adult population, the overall mortality is slightly less than 30%. In contrast, of the 31 reported cases of tracheobronchial mucoepidermoid carcinoma in pediatrics, all children are free of tumor involvement with a mean follow-up period of 5.8 years (range, 0.7-21 years). Based upon the available clinical outcome and survival data, it would appear that tracheobronchial mucoepidermoid carcinoma may be successfully managed by surgical intervention alone in children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bronchial Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Bronchial Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid* / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid* / surgery
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Tracheal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Tracheal Neoplasms* / surgery