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Keywords:

  • Renal cell carcinoma;
  • metastasis;
  • head;
  • neck;
  • local resection

Abstract

Objectives The objectives of the study were to present four cases of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) metastatic to the head and neck, to recognize the appearance on radiographic studies, to understand the importance of preoperative embolization, and to review the results of treatment.

Study Design Retrospective review of patients diagnosed with metastatic RCC to the head and neck.

Methods The records of four patients diagnosed with metastatic RCC at a tertiary medical center over a 5-year period from 1996 to 2001 were reviewed and analyzed for demographic and outcomes data.

Results Metastatic RCC to the head and neck was seen in the following locations: nasal cavity, lower lip, hard palate, tongue, and maxillary sinus. Presenting signs were loose upper molars, dysphagia, nasal obstruction, lower lip lesion, recurrent epistaxis, and foul nasal drainage. Histological studies confirmed metastasis of RCC in all four patients. Treatment consisted of preoperative radiation therapy, embolization, and local excision with adjunct chemotherapy.

Conclusions Metastatic RCC to the head and neck is rare but can have serious consequences if not recognized before biopsy. We present several treatment options with local excision as the primary mode of treatment.