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Revista Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial

On-line version ISSN 2173-9161Print version ISSN 1130-0558

Rev Esp Cirug Oral y Maxilofac vol.39 n.4 Madrid Oct./Dec. 2017 

Clinical Reports

Leiomyosarcoma of the tongue: A rare case report

Leiomiosarcoma de la lengua: un caso clínico raro

Carlos Alberto Salcedo-Gil1  , Víctor Alejandro Lasa-Menéndez1  , María Josefa Pastor-Fortea1  , José Ignacio Iriarte-Ortabe1 

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Son Espases University Hospital, Carretera Valldemossa 79, Planta 0 módulo Q. Sala 004, 07120 Palma de Mallorca, Spain


Leiomyosarcomas is rare tumour that arises from smooth muscle cells.1,2 They account for 7% of soft tissue sarcomas.1-3 Leiomyosarcoma in the head and neck region account for only 3-10%,2,4 and less than 0.1% develops in the oral cavity.2 It has been reported that oral leiomyosarcoma shows a bimodal peak in the third, sixth and seventh decades of life.4) Although a possible association with trauma, estrogenic stimulation, ionizing radiation and Epstein-Barr virus has been suggested, its underlying aetiology remains uncertain.4,5,9,10 This article describes an additional case of oral leiomyosarcoma affecting the tongue related to ionizing radiation.

Case presentation

A 41-year-old male patient who two years previously had undergone radiotherapy and chemotherapy because of a Cavum Carcinoma, the patient was referred to the maxillofacial department on October of 2014 because a rapidly increasing lesion on the on the right side of the tongue was noticed at the follow-up. Clinical examination showed a well-circumscribed firm, submucosal mass on the right side of the tongue (Fig. 1). No cervical lymphadenopathy was palpable. As control of his Cavum Carcinoma the patient had a PET/CT scan that only reports a focal uptake on right side of the tongue.

Fig. 1 Clinical photograph showing the mass within the right side of the tongue. 

An incisional biopsy was repeated on January 2015 after a first negative result; the histopathology showed an infiltrating spindle cell tumour that stained for smooth muscle actin. The immunohistochemistry stained positively with smooth muscle actin, desmin, and caldesmon (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 Microscopic examination showing interlacing fascicles of spindle-shaped cells (haematoxylin-eosin stain, original magnification, ×400). 

He was treated with hemiglossectomy. It was reconstructed with a medial sural perforator flap, and no neck dissection was performed on March of 2015 (Fig. 3a-c). The patient had a good functional and cosmetic result with no signs of recurrence in subsequent follow-ups, last one on July 2016.

Fig. 3 (a) Medial sural perforator artery, (b) immediate post-operative reconstruction and (c) postoperative follow up, good cosmetic outcome with a medial sural perforator flap and no recurrence. 

Review of literature

The cases reported in the literature are summarized in Table 1. We included Oral LMS that only affected the tongue; publish in the English and Spanish literature with all the variables included in the table. The exclusion criteria were LMS not affecting the tongue and publication with incomplete medical reports.

Table 1 Reported cases of primary leiomyosarcoma arising from the tongue. 

Study Year Gender Age (yrs) Site Metastasis Treatment Follow-up (yrs)
Yannopoulos and Stout 1962 M 11mo Tip of tongue No Excision 4-6
O’Day et al. 1964 M 3 Sublingual Yes Excision 2; deceased
O’Day et al. 1964 F 19 Sublingual Yes Excision and neck dissection 11
Goldberg et al. 1970 M 54 Sublingual No Excision 1.5
Brandjor d et al. 1977 F 63 Floor of the mouth Yes Excision 2
Mindell et al. 1975 M 59 Tongue - Not specified No Excision 3
Lack 1986 M 2.5 Base of tongue No Excision and chemotherapy 4
Aydin and Dreyer 1994 M 70 Base and dorsum of tongue No Radiotherapy 1.5
Mentzel et al. 1994 F 88 Floor of the mouth Yes Excision 10d, decease
Mayall et al. 1994 M 60 Tip of tongue No Excision 1
Piattelli and Artese 1995 F 80 Lateral border of tongue No Patient rejected treatment N/A
Crossman et al. 2008 F 46 Lateral border of tongue No Excision 5
Sarra et al. 2009 M 62 Lateral border of tongue Yes No treatment 6 mo
Yan et al. 2010 M 48 Floor of mouth No Excision and suprahyoid neck dissection 1.5, deceased
Pires et al. 2010 M 55 Lateral border of tongue No Excision 4
Ahn et al. 2011 F 54 Lateral border of tongue Yes Palliative chemotherapy 1mo
Toranzo et al. 2012 F 73 Lateral border of tongue No Excision 1
Shütz 2013 M 25 Floor of the mouth No Excision and neck dissection 6.5
Present case 2016 M 41 Lateral border of tongue No Excision 1.5


Intraoral leiomyosarcoma, particularly in the tongue are extreme rare. They arise from smooth muscle cells.1,2,5-11 Intraoral leiomyosarcoma occurs more frequently in males.4 Clinically the tumour presents as a well-circumscribed painless mass. The correct diagnosis is only made following a definitive histological examination and confirmed by immunohistochemistry.3,6,8,10,11) Immunohistochemical staining has consistently shown positive for desmine, vimentin, and smooth muscle actine, whereas a negative response to S100 protein and the cytokeratins is usually found.1-7

Leiomyosarcoma behaves as an aggressive tumour, and has a tendency to infiltrate surrounding tissues. The more frequent distant metastases of leiomyosarcoma are the head and neck region,2-5 in 15% of the cases.2,3 Metastases can also spread to the regional lymph nodes, and the lung and the liver are prediction sites for distant metastases.2-5

The cause of leiomyosarcoma remains unknown, although cases associated with trauma, estrogenic stimulation, ionizing radiation and Epstein-Barr virus have been suggested.4,5,9,10

The treatment consists of wide surgical excision with regional lymph node dissection as required, with the goal of histologically clear margins. This determines the true course of the disease and the long-term prognosis.2-5,7-11

Chemotherapy is generally reserved for palliative cases, such as inoperable tumours or metastatic spread.2,8,10

The case that we report of a primary intraoral leiomyosarcoma it could be induced by ionizing radiation. It is essential that the clinician be familiar with the lesion, and anticipates the possible presence of this disease and makes early diagnosis. Treatment of primary leiomyosarcoma is radical tumour resection with histologically clear margins.


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2. Schütz A, Smeets R, Driemel O, Hakim SG, Kosmehl H, Hanken H, et al. Primary and secondary Leiomyosarcoma of the oral and perioral region - clinicopathological and immunohistochemical analysis of a rare entity with a review of the literature. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2013;71:1132-42. [ Links ]

3. Ethunandan M, Stokes C, Higgins B, Spedding A, Way C, Brennan P. Primary oral leiomyosarcoma: a clinico-pathologic study and analysis of prognostic factors. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007;36:409-16. [ Links ]

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8. Amarapala H, Tilakaratne WM. Leiomyosarcoma of the oral cavity: report of seven cases and review of literature. Oral Oncol Extra. 2006;42:14-7. [ Links ]

9. Crossman T, Ward P, Herold J. Leiomyosarcoma of the tongue: a case report. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008;46:e69-70. [ Links ]

10. Toranzo-Fernández JM, Colunga R, González-Valdez LG. Leiomiosarcoma del borde lateral de la lengua: reporte de un caso. Rev Esp Cir Maxilofac. 2014;36:27-31. [ Links ]

11. Lo Muzio L, Favia G, Mignogna MD, Piattelli A, Maiorano E. Primary intraoral leiomyosarcoma of the tongue: an immunohistochemical study and review of the literature. Oral Oncol. 2000;36:519-24. [ Links ]

Ethical disclosures

Protection of human and animal subjects.The authors state that no experiments were performed on human beings or animals as part of this investigation.

Confidentiality of data.Authors state they have followed the protocols of their workplace about the data publication of patients.

Right to privacy and informed consent.Authors have obtained the informed consent from the patients or subjects referred to in the article. This document is in possession of the corresponding author.

Corresponding author. E-mail address: (C.A. Salcedo-Gil).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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