Pediatric parotid masses
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence, types, and treatment outcomes of pediatric parotid lesions.
DESIGN: Retrospective case review, histological tissue review, and literature review.
SETTING: Tertiary care center.
PATIENTS: All patients aged 18 years and younger with parotid masses evaluated and treated at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, from January 1, 1970, to December 31, 1997.
RESULTS: Parotid masses were identified in 118 children (60 boys and 58 girls). At diagnosis, the ages of patients were from birth through 18 years, and 72 (61.0%) were aged 10 years and older. An asymptomatic mass was the most common presentation. Forty-three patients (36.4%) had infectious or inflammatory lesions, 56 (47.5%) had benign lesions, and 19 (16.1%) had malignant lesions. The most common benign lesions were pleomorphic adenoma (22.9%) and hemangioma (10.2%). The most common malignant lesions were mucoepidermoid carcinoma (6.8%) and acinic cell carcinoma (3.4%). The most common treatment was total parotidectomy (40.7%). Surgical complications included temporary facial nerve weakness in 22 (18.6%) patients, permanent facial weakness in 11 (9.3%), and permanent paralysis in 2 (1.7%). Pleomorphic adenoma recurred in 4 (14.8%) of 28 patients and mucoepidermoid carcinoma in 3 (37.5%) of 8 patients. One patient with adenoid cystic carcinoma died of the tumor.
CONCLUSIONS: Although pediatric parotid masses are unusual, they can represent a variety of pathological diagnoses, including malignancy. We advocate prompt evaluation and treatment of these masses, and suggest guidelines for their management, based on diagnosis.