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Parameningeal alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma in a child
  1. Abhinav Kumar1 and
  2. Vijay Pothula2
  1. 1Medical School, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2ENT Department, Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, Wigan, UK
  1. Correspondence to Vijay Pothula; vijaybabu{at}


This is the case of a parameningeal alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) in a 13-year-old boy who presented with painless loss of vision in the right eye, but very few other physical signs. The ARMS diagnosis was confirmed with imaging and molecular characterisation of the tumour. Despite tolerating the initial chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens, there was leptomeningeal recurrence and the patient unfortunately passed away. Parameningeal ARMS occurs in an area of the body, which leads to a wide variety of possible presenting symptoms, creating a long list of differentials that can delay treatment. This tumour subtype has a poor prognosis, and due to the location of the tumour around vital structures in the head, treatment toxicities must be taken into account. This highlights the necessity for having a strong index of suspicion for this tumour in atypical presentations in children, and the necessity for prompt treatment to prevent leptomeningeal disease from occurring.

  • head and neck cancer
  • paediatric oncology
  • otolaryngology / ENT
  • ear
  • nose and throat/otolaryngology

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  • Contributors AK is the first author and VP is the senior author and corresponding author.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer-reviewed.