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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
Mar 2012

Pathology Quiz Case 1: Diagnosis

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(3):314-315. doi:10.1001/archoto.2011.1231b

Liposarcomas represent only a small percentage of head and neck sarcomas. In one series of 103 head and neck sarcomas, 5 patients were diagnosed as having liposarcoma.1 The extremities and retroperitoneum account for 95% of liposarcoma cases, with head and neck liposarcomas representing a fraction of the remaining 5%.2 Hypopharyngeal liposarcoma is an exceedingly rare entity, with fewer than 10 reported cases, to our knowledge.3 The most common presenting symptoms are dysphagia, difficulty breathing, and stridor. The reported age range is 25 to 90 years, and most cases occur in men.3 This sex distribution is similar to that described in cases of laryngeal liposarcoma, only 10% of which have developed in women.3 A polypoid presentation is often described as classic for liposarcoma of the head and neck, although the percentage of cases with a polypoid presentation is difficult to quantify, as it is often not specified in case reports.

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