Hamartomatous Tongue Lesions in Children

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The incidence and spectrum of tongue lesions in children, in particular tongue hamartomas, is relatively unknown. We report a retrospective review of all tongue lesions seen at a major tertiary care children's hospital over an 18-year period with an emphasis on describing tongue hamartomas. A total of 135 tongue lesions were identified. Vascular/lymphatic lesions (36/135) were the most common followed by mucus extravasation phenomenon (22/135). Interestingly, hamartomatous lesions (18/135) were the third most common lesion category identified. Lingual hamartomas were predominantly submucosal in location and were classified histologically by tissue composition as follows: neurovascular (2/18), smooth muscle predominant (5/18), fat predominant (1/18), and smooth muscle and fat containing (10/18). All 5 smooth muscle predominant hamartomas also contained vasculature, and 1 case additionally contained salivary gland tissue. The single fat predominant hamartoma additionally contained vessels and salivary gland. The final 10 hamartomas contained varying amounts of both smooth muscle and fat, and also admixed combinations of vessels, nerves, and salivary glands. Two of these 10 cases additionally contained foci of choristomatous elements, including cutaneous adnexal structures and cartilage. Most patients with hamartomatous lesions were young, 2 years or less. Eight cases were congenital in origin. Females outnumbered males by 2:1. The majority of lesions (16/18) were dorsal in location, and 4 patients had a syndromic association, all oral-facial-digital syndrome.

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