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09.11.2017 | Case Report

Solitary Fibrous Tumor of the Tongue: An Uncommon Cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Journal of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery
Giovanni Sorrenti, Irene Pelligra, Riccardo Albertini, Ottavio Piccin



Solitary fibrous tumor is an uncommon mesenchymal neoplasm that may be found in any location. To date, only a few cases of solitary fibrous tumor involving the tongue have been reported.

Case Summary

We present the case of a 31-year-old man with a history of progressively worsening snoring and daytime sleepiness. Polysomnography revealed severe obstructive sleep apnea. An attempt to treat sleep apnea by continuous positive airway pressure and oral appliance led to a poor clinical response. CT and MRI scans findings revealed a large mass in the tongue base partially obstructing the airway. After the excision of the mass all symptoms, included daytime somnolence, disappeared and a polysomnographic examination showed the normalization of the somnographic parameters.


Although OSA is rarely caused by tumors, each patient with sleep disorders breathing should be examined carefully for the potential presence of an upper aero-digestive tract neoplasm that may contribute to obstruction.

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