Metastatic breast carcinoma of the jugular foramen: A rare case of Villaret syndrome

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Background.The differential diagnosis of skull base masses is diverse and includes benign and malignant neoplasms, vascular anomalies, congenital lesions, as well as infectious and inflammatory processes. Metastatic masses of the skull base are a rare manifestation of systemic malignancies. Breast cancer is the most common cause of skull base metastases.1 Villaret syndrome refers to cranial nerves IX, X, XI, and XII and sympathetic chain neuropathies. It is a clinical subtype of jugular foramen syndromes.Methods and Results.A 62-year-old woman with a history of breast carcinoma presented with hoarseness dating to shortly after her mastectomy years earlier. CT angiography showed enhancing tissue just outside the right jugular foramen, and biopsy confirmed metastatic adenocarcinoma consistent with breast cancer.Conclusion.Villaret syndrome caused by breast cancer metastases has not been previously described. We present a case of Villaret syndrome caused by metastasis of invasive breast adenocarcinoma and a review of the literature of metastases of breast cancer to the skull base. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 37: E146–E149, 2015

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