Dabska Tumor Clinical Presentation

Updated: Apr 06, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Patients may notice a slow-growing, painless, intradermal nodule that grows to 2-3 cm in diameter. Although it usually occurs in the skin or subcutis of infants and young children, in 2003, Takaoka et al [14] described a DT in the tongue of a 67-year-old man. It was as a well-defined, reddish tumor measuring 11 mm X 8 mm X 7 mm at the submucosal area of the left tongue margin. A DT may occur within a large congenital lymphangioma circumscriptum, as has been described on the thigh of a teenage girl. [15]

Primary angiosarcoma of the brain displaying an intravascular papillary pattern consistent with that of DT has been described in a child. It occurred in continuity with a massive, multifocal intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia. [16]


Physical Examination

A DT tends to be a slow-growing intradermal nodule; violaceous, pink, or bluish-black in coloration; and several centimeters in diameter. [17] Some grow to 40 cm in diameter as an ill-defined mass. Others show discrete surface nodularity or even surface ulceration, and occasionally DTs have satellite nodules.

DTs have no apparent predilection for any anatomic site. The head and extremities are commonly affected. DTs also may be seen on the palms, forearms, heels, knees, cheeks, temples, pinnae of the ears, neck, buttocks, abdominal skin, and upper back. It has been described in the testis of a child. [18] DTs can fluctuate in size and can be associated with degeneration of an underlying vascular tumor. A huge 30 × 22 × 4 cm3 recurrent Dabska tumor of the flank was described in a 23-year-old woman and was successfully excised. [19]

DTs have been described in the following situations:

  • A focal degeneration within a deep cavernous hemangioma of leg soft tissue in an 8-year-old girl [20]

  • Within an angiomatous vascular malformation on the buttocks of a boy who developed Kasabach-Merritt syndrome [21]

  • As part of a subcutaneous cavernous hemangioma fixed to underlying fascia on the forearm of a 6-year-old boy

  • A slow-growing molelike nodule on the cheek of a middle aged woman [22]

One or more of these hemangiomas may have been lymphangiomas. Two others had an adjacent lymphangioma, and two more had clusters of lymphatic vessels adjacent to the tumor. Dabska tumor has also been described in bone. [23]