Major haemorrhage requiring transarterial embolisation following open biopsy of an unusual neck mass

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A 65-year-old man presented with a right supraclavicular neck mass and right arm pain. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a 96mm lesion in the upper thoracic paraspinal region extending into the deep supraclavicular fossa. The presentation was consistent with a sarcoma or lymphoma but fine needle aspiration was inconclusive. During open biopsy of the lesion, the patient had a rapid intraoperative haemorrhage of 1l from the tumour. Haemostasis could only be achieved by transarterial embolisation of the feeding vessel and the biopsy result confirmed Ewing's sarcoma. Open biopsy is considered the gold standard in the diagnosis of certain tumour types; however, the morbidity from haemorrhage must be considered. This case highlights the key role that transarterial embolisation can play in achieving haemostasis in the neck.

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