Leiomyosarcoma of the head and neck: A clinicopathological study

E. Montgomery, J. R. Goldblum, C. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Aims: The behaviour of leiomyosarcoma is site-related and there are few data on such tumours located in the head and neck. We studied the clinicopathological features of these lesions. Methods and results: Cases diagnosed as leiomyosarcoma of the head and neck were retrieved from the archives of three institutions. Immunohistochemistry was performed and follow-up information was obtained. There were seven men and six women, aged 21-73 years, and lesions involved the neck (n = 3), maxilla (n = 4), buccal area (n = 3), and maxillary sinus, nose, and pharynx (n = 1 each). Tumours ranged from 10 to 80 mm. All tumours showed at least focally typical histological features of leiomyosarcoma with perpendicularly arranged fascicles of smooth muscle cells with blunt-ended nuclei, eosinophilic cytoplasm and paranuclear vacuoles. They expressed muscle-specific actin (8/9), smooth muscle actin (7/9), and desmin (10/12). Follow-up information was available on nine patients. All had surgery, with radiation and/or chemotherapy in seven. Three (27%) recurred at 6-24 months; in one case twice. Five (56%) had metastases, including the three with prior recurrences at 1-128 months. Five (including two who received adjuvant therapy) were disease-free at a median of 47 months, one was alive with metastatic disease at 24 months), and three were dead of disease (median 13 months). Conclusions: Head and neck leiomyosarcomas are rare and aggressive neoplasms which metastasize. Adjuvant therapy has limited effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-525
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Head and neck
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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