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Early-onset juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma (JNA): a systematic review.

BACKGROUND: Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma (JNA) is a fibrovascular tumor of the nasopharynx that classically presents in adolescent males. The reported mean age of onset is between 13 and 22 years old [1-6]. Significant androgen stimulation is hypothesized to explain the strong predisposition for JNA to present in young adolescent males. However, considerable variability in age at diagnosis exists with rare involvement of very young patients incongruent with typical male pubertal growth patterns.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this systematic review is to identify cases of early-onset JNA (EOJNA), (defined as age < 10 years) in the literature and to examine the disease characteristics and treatments used in this patient group. A case of a 7 year old boy with EOJNA at our institution is also described and presented.

METHODS: We searched Embase, Cochrane database and MEDLINE from 1996 to February 2021 for studies that reported cases of EOJNA. Relevant clinico-demographic data, disease severity and treatment outcomes were recorded and analyzed using descriptive statistics. We compared our findings with reported means for JNA in all ages.

RESULTS: We identified 29 studies containing a total of 34 cases of EOJNA. The vast majority (31/34) of patients were males and the mean age of diagnosis was 8.15 years old. The most common presenting symptoms were nasal obstruction (65.2%) and epistaxis (60.9%). Patients were most commonly Radkowski stage II (39.4%) and III (39.4%). Primary treatment modalities included open surgery (66.7%), endoscopic surgery (24.2%), and radiotherapy (9.1%). Recurrence was evident in 30%. Radkowski stage and type of treatment did not differ significantly within the EOJNA group (p = 0.440 and p = 0.659, respectively).

CONCLUSION: This systematic review suggests that rare cases of EOJNA have distinct disease characteristics. Patients in this cohort appeared to have more advanced disease and higher recurrence rates when compared with reported averages. We hope that this review prompts increased clinical awareness of this potentially more aggressive subtype of JNA. As more cases of EOJNA are reported, a more powered statistical analysis of this cohort would be feasible.

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