Sahel Medical Journal

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Primary childhood head and neck neoplasms: An 8-year histopathological review in a teaching hospital

AP Igbe, WO Akhiwu


Background: Although infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death among children in our environment, neoplastic diseases have emerged as important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality.
Method: A retrospective review of neoplastic lesions of the head and neck region histologically diagnosed at University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) in children aged 0-14years between 2002 and 2009 was carried out with the aim of determining their incidence and histological patterns.
Results: A total of 266 neoplasms were diagnosed in this age group during the period out of which123(46.2%) were located in the head and neck region. Seventy two cases (58.5%) were malignant while 51 (41.5%) were benign. Lymphoma was the commonest histological type of malignant tumour (51%) with Burkitt’s lymphoma being the predominant subtype. The commonest benign tumours were haemangioma and neurofibroma each of which accounted for 8 cases (15.7%). The commonest sites for
these lesions were jaw, eye and adnexa, soft tissues, peripheral nerves, and lymph nodes.
Conclusion: It is concluded that Burkitt’s lymphoma remains the commonest childhood head and neck malignancy in the study population. The oral sites constituted about 40% of the tumours studied.
AJOL African Journals Online