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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
Sep 2011

Radiology Quiz Case 2

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011;137(9):955. doi:10.1001/archoto.2011.149-a

A healthy-appearing 2-year-old girl presented with a mass in the base of her tongue that had been discovered by her pediatrician. She had been asymptomatic, without any obstructive airway or dysphagia manifestations. Her medical history was unremarkable. She breathed comfortably and vocalized clearly.

The findings of her oral cavity and oropharyngeal examinations were remarkable for a large, hemispherical, cystic-appearing, midline mass in the posterior aspect of the tongue (Figure 1). The mass was translucent, with evident vascularity. It was ballotable and not pulsatile to digital palpation. Endoscopic assessment suggested the base of the tongue rather than a vallecular origin, with no laryngeal airway compromise.

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