Noninflammatory masses of the salivary gland region in children are extremely rare. Therefore, very few published individual and institution-based experiences exist.
Retrospective chart review from 1990 through 1997.
University-based children's hospital.
Patients 18 years of age or younger with a tumor in the salivary gland region. Masses of infectious origin were excluded. Hemangiomas and lymphangiomas were tallied for relative incidences only.
Three hundred twenty-four consecutive cases of salivary gland masses were found: 192 hemangiomas (59.2%), 89 lymphangiomas (27.5%), and 43 (13.3%) solid masses. No significant difference was found between the age at presentation of the patients with benign solid tumors and the patients with malignant solid tumors (mean + SEM age, 7.2 + 0.7 years). Sixty-one percent of the masses were found in the parotid region; 18% were localized to the submandibular gland region; and the remaining 21% were located in a minor salivary gland site. The most common benign perisalivary masses were pilomatrixomas (20.9%), followed by pleomorphic adenomas (11.6%). The most common malignant masses were mucoepidermoid carcinomas (9.3%), followed by rhabdomyosarcomas (7.0%). Treatment was individualized to the disease. Twenty-two patients had adequate data for follow-up analysis (mean + SEM follow-up, 30.0 + 8.4 months). Four patients (18.2%) experienced recurrent or residual disease and were alive with disease at last follow-up, and 100% of our population demonstrated disease-specific survival at last follow-up.
Vascular lesions outnumber solid tumors of the salivary gland region. The most common salivary tumors were pleomorphic adenomas, followed by mucoepidermoid carcinomas. Although certain solid salivary masses may demonstrate locally aggressive behavior, the overall prognosis is favorable.