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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
November 2006

Pathology Quiz Case 1: Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006;132(11):1270-1271. doi:10.1001/archotol.132.11.1270

Synovial sarcomas are malignant soft tissue neoplasms that are rarely found in the head and neck region.1 They usually occur in the extremities, adjacent to the joints, especially the knees, and account for about 5% to 10% of all soft tissue malignancies. They typically affect young adults and adolescents (mean age at diagnosis, 30 years in adults and 13 years in children).2 They originate from pluripotent mesenchymal cells.3 When they develop in the head and neck area, they are most often found in the hypopharynx. There have been reports of lesions arising in the neck, face, temporomandibular joint, larynx, sinonasal region, and parapharyngeal and retropharyngeal spaces.4 Occurrence in the tongue is extremely rare.5