Prolonged peripheral facial nerve paralysis in a child -think of temporal bone rhabdomyosarcoma: case report

  • Ljiljana Vlaški
  • Nada Vučković
  • Danijela Dragičević
  • Vladimir Kljajić
  • Slavica Seničar
Case Report


Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common type of soft tissue sarcoma in childhood. When localized in the middle ear and temporal bone, they are highly aggressive, whereas the outcome directly depends on an accurate and timely diagnosis, stage of the disease, and adequate multimodal therapy. Early clinical diagnosis of the temporal bone rhabdomyosarcoma is often difficult since clinical signs are not specific for this disease. We present a case of an embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, botryoid subtype, of the middle ear in a girl aged 4 years and 4 months, diagnosed 34 days after the first symptoms — right ear pain with peripheral facial nerve palsy on the same side. The overall symptoms were poor, in no way suggesting such a serious condition. After the treatment, control follow-ups for more than 3 years showed no recurrence of the disease, while signs of the right peripheral facial palsy persist. Conclusion: In cases of prolonged peripheral facial nerve palsy in children, not responding to conservative treatment, a temporal bone rhabdomyosarcoma should be considered in a differential diagnosis.


Rhabdomyosarcoma Temporal bone Child 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Sbeity S, Abella A, Arcand P, Quintal MC, Saliba I. Temporal bone rhabdomyosarcoma in children. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2007;71:807–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Barnes PH, Mawwell MJ. Embrional rhabdomyosarcoma of middle ear. Report of the case with 12 years, survival with a review of the literature. J Laryngol Otol 1972;86:1145–54PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Akbar A, Sohail A. Rhabdomyosarcoma of the middle ear and mastoid: A case report and review of the literature. ENT J 2005:780–4Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Hu J, Liu S, Qiu J. Embrional rhabdomyosarcoma of the middle ear. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2002;126:690–2PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    Jeffe BF, Fox JE, Batsakis JG. Rhabdomyosarcoma of the middle ear and mastoid. Cancer 1971;27:29–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Durve DV, Kanagaonkar RG, Albert D, Levitt G. Pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma of the ear and temporal bone. Clin Otolaryngol 2004;29:32–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Raney Jr R, Lawrence Jr W, Maurer HM. Rhabdomyosarcoma of the ear in childhood. A report from the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study I. Cancer 1983;51:2356–61PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Lee CA, Aga L, Lie QY, Lin Z. Rhabdomyosarcoma presenting as an acute suppurative mastoiditis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2004;131:791–2PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Cotton RT, Rothschild MA, Zwerdling T. Tumors of the head and neck in children. In: Thawley SE, Panje WR, Batsakis JG, Lindberg RD, eds. Comprehensive Management of Head and Neck Tumors. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: W.B.Saunders. 1998:1846–902Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Adrassy R. Rhabdomyosarcoma. J Semin Pediatr Surg 1997;6:17–23Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Parham DM. Pathologic classification of rhabdomyosarcomas and correlations with molecular studies. Mod Pathol 2001;14(5):506–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Sung L, Anderson JR, Donaldson SS. Late events occurring five years or more after successful therapy for childhood rabdomyosarcoma: a report from soft tissue sarcoma committee of the children, s oncology group. Eur J Cancer 2004;40(12):1878–85PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Maurer HM, Beltangady M, Gehan EA. The Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma study I: a final report. Cancer 1989;61:209–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Maurer HM. Rhabdomyosarcoma. Paediatr Ann 1979;8:35–48Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ljiljana Vlaški
    • 1
  • Nada Vučković
    • 2
  • Danijela Dragičević
    • 1
  • Vladimir Kljajić
    • 1
  • Slavica Seničar
    • 3
  1. 1.University ENT Clinic, Clinical Center of Vojvodina, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia
  2. 2.Pathology and Histology Center, Clinical Center of Vojvodina, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia
  3. 3.Radiology Center, Clinical Center of Vojvodina, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia

Personalised recommendations