Ganglioneuroma of the retropharyngeal space in a patient with glottic cancer

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Abstract

SUMMARY

We describe the case of a 71-year-old man with a ganglioneuroma of the retropharyngeal space. The patient presented with a submucosal bulge of the left oropharyngeal wall during follow-up examination of a treated vocal cord carcinoma. CT and MRI revealed a non-specific, well-defined retropharyngeal soft tissue lesion. Positron emission tomography-CT did not show relevant metabolic activity, excluding the hypothesis of metastatic nodal disease. Surgical biopsy of the lesion was compatible with ganglioneuroma. Ganglioneuromas are well-differentiated tumours composed of mature sympathetic ganglion cells that account for approximately 1% of spinal and paraspinal tumours. Peripherally, ganglioneuromas are predominantly found in the posterior mediastinum and retroperitoneal space. Only nine ganglioneuromas of the retropharyngeal space have been reported in the English literature since the early 1980s.

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