Publication: Persistent pleural effusion in an infant with an unusual diagnosis: congenital alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a malignant form of neoplasm that originates from skeletal muscle. RMSs can exist anywhere in the human body but are more commonly detected in the neck region and extremities. The alveolar type is one of the subtypes of RMS that has a poor prognosis. Because the clinical manifestation of a tumour can be a painless mass, symptoms might be non-contributary to the diagnosis. Herein, a four-month-old girl was admitted to the emergency department with complaints of respiratory distress without a runny nose, cough, and fever. Recurrent effusions subsided with subsequent tube thoracostomy. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) was performed to determine the aetiology of the recurrent effusion. The Tru-Cut biopsy obtained during VATS resulted in the diagnosis of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Pleural effusion decreased, and the tube drainage was stopped rapidly after first vincristine, actinomycin-D, and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy cycle. Persistent and recurrent pleural effusions should alert physicians to rule out unusual diagnoses like that of our case.