Protracted hypocalcemia following post-thyroidectomy lumbar rhabdomyolysis secondary to evolving hypoparathyroidism

March 2, 2015     Usman Y. Cheema, MD; Carrie N. Vogler, PharmD, BCPS; Joshua Thompson, PharmD; Stacy L. Sattovia, MD, FACP; Srikanth Vallurupalli, MD


Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by skeletal muscle breakdown. It is a potential cause of serious electrolyte and metabolic disturbances, acute kidney insufficiency, and death. Recently, rhabdomyolysis has been increasingly recognized following certain surgical procedures. We discuss the case of a morbidly obese 51-year-old woman who developed postoperative rhabdomyolysis of the lumbar muscles following a prolonged thyroidectomy for a large goiter. We discuss how her morbid obesity, the supine surgical position, the duration of surgery (including prolonged exposure to anesthetic agents), and postoperative immobility contributed to the development of rhabdomyolysis. Immediately after surgery, the patient developed hypocalcemia, which was likely due to rhabdomyolysis since her serum parathyroid hormone level was normal. Later, however, persistent hypocalcemia despite resolution of the rhabdomyolysis raised a suspicion of iatrogenic hypoparathyroidism, which was confirmed by a suppressed parathyroid hormone level several days after surgery. In post-thyroidectomy patients with risk factors for rhabdomyolysis, maintaining a high degree of clinical suspicion and measuring serum creatine kinase and parathyroid hormone levels can allow for an accurate interpretation of hypocalcemia.

Multifocal inverted papillomas in the head and neck

March 2, 2015     Jyoti Sharma, MD; David Goldenberg, MD; Henry Crist, MD; Johnathan McGinn, MD


Inverted papilloma is a rare benign neoplasm that usually originates in the lateral nasal wall. It can be a locally aggressive lesion and invade nearby structures. While primarily a nasal neoplasm, cases of an inverted papilloma involving the temporal bone, pharynx, nasopharynx, and lacrimal sac have been reported. We describe the case of a 67-year-old man with a history of nasal inverted papilloma who presented with a recurrent nasal mass and a large mass on the left side of his upper neck. The patient's history included inverted papillomas in multiple locations: the temporal bone, the sinonasal tract, and the nasopharynx. The new neck mass raised a concern for malignant degeneration and metastasis, but pathology demonstrated that it was a benign inverted papilloma. No clear etiology for the new neck lesion was evident except for an origin in salivary gland tissue. However, there was no physical connection between the neck mass and the submandibular gland identifiable on pathologic evaluation. This case illustrates the need for an aggressive primary resection to minimize local recurrence, as well as adequate surveillance to address recurrences early. Given the potential for multicentricity, patients with a typical sinonasal inverted papilloma should undergo a complete head and neck examination as part of their follow-up.

Minimally invasive drainage of a posterior mediastinal abscess through the retropharyngeal space: A report of 2 cases

March 2, 2015     Dan Lu, MD; Yu Zhao, MD, PhD


Foreign-body ingestion is a common cause of esophageal perforation, which can lead to a fatal posterior mediastinal abscess. Routine treatments include the drainage of pus through the esophageal perforation, thoracotomy, and videothoracoscopic drainage. We present 2 cases of posterior mediastinal abscess caused by esophageal perforation. Both patients-a 44-year-old woman and an 80-year-old man-were successfully treated with a novel, minimally invasive approach that involved draining pus through the retropharyngeal space; drainage was supplemented by the administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics and nasal feeding.

Thyroid gland follicular carcinoma

March 2, 2015     Lester D.R. Thompson, MD

The recommended treatment is lobectomy or total thyroidectomy, with or without radioablation. The choice depends on the size and stage of the tumor, extent of lymphovascular invasion, and patient's age.

The harm of ham hocks: Foreign body impaction in long-standing multiple sclerosis

March 2, 2015     Anish Patel, MD; Jacqueline Weinstein, MD; Mandy Weidenhaft, MD; Enrique Palacios, MD, FACR

The incidence of foreign body impaction in neurologic dysfunctional swallowing, such as in multiple sclerosis (MS), has been not widely reported.

Lipoid proteinosis of the larynx

March 2, 2015     Jagdeep Singh Virk, MA(Cantab), MRCS, DOHNS; Sonal Tripathi, BSc, MBChB; Ann Sandison, FRCPath; Guri Sandhu, MD, FRCS, FRCS(ORL-HNS)

here is no accepted gold standard of management, but surgery should be used judiciously in selected patients to improve voice function and maintain the airway. Long-term follow-up and repeat procedures are usually required for disease control, and genetic counseling may be needed.

Necrotizing tonsillitis caused by group C beta-hemolytic streptococci

March 2, 2015     Jassem M. Bastaki, DMD, MPH


Tonsillitis and pharyngitis are among the most common infections in the head and neck. Viral tonsillitis is usually caused by enterovirus, influenza, parainfluenza, adenovirus, rhinovirus and Epstein-Barr virus (causing infectious mononucleosis). Acute bacterial tonsillitis is most commonly caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci. On the other hand, pseudomembranous and necrotizing tonsillitis are usually caused by fusiform bacilli and spirochetes. Here we report what is, to our knowledge, the first case of necrotizing tonsillitis caused by group C beta-hemolytic streptococci.

Septic arthritis: A unique complication of nasal septal abscess

March 2, 2015     Steven M. Olsen, MD; Cody A. Koch, MD, PhD; Dale C. Ekbom, MD


Nasal septal abscesses (NSAs) occur between the muco-perichondrium and the nasal septum. They most often arise when an untreated septal hematoma becomes infected. The most commonly reported sequela is a loss of septal cartilage support, which can result in a nasal deformity. Other sequelae include potentially life-threatening conditions such as meningitis, cavernous sinus thrombosis, brain abscess, and subarachnoid empyema. We report the case of a 17-year-old boy who developed an NSA after he had been struck in the face with a basketball. He presented to his primary care physician 5 days after the injury and again the next day, but his condition was not correctly diagnosed. Finally, 7 days after his injury, he presented to an emergency department with more serious symptoms, and he was correctly diagnosed with NSA. He was admitted to the intensive care unit, and he remained hospitalized for 6 days. Among the abscess sequelae he experienced was septic arthritis, which has heretofore not been reported as a complication of NSA. He responded well to appropriate treatment, although he lost a considerable amount of septal cartilage. He was discharged home on intravenous antibiotic therapy, and his condition improved. Reconstruction of the nasal septum will likely need to be pursued in the future.

Plexiform schwannoma of the posterior pharyngeal wall in a patient with neurofibromatosis 2

March 2, 2015     Luca Raimondo, MD; Massimiliano Garzaro, MD; Jasenka Mazibrada, MD, PhD; Giancarlo Pecorari, MD; Carlo Giordano, MD


We report a case of plexiform schwannoma of the posterior pharyngeal wall that occurred in a 37-year-old man who had been previously diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). Plexiform schwannoma has been rarely reported in association with NF2. Moreover, as far as we know, only 6 cases of posterior pharyngeal wall schwannoma have been previously reported in the literature, none of which was associated with NF2 and none of which was histopathologically differentiated in schwannoma or plexiform schwannoma. The patient was treated with laser excision of the tumor via a transoral route, and at 6 and 12 months of follow-up, he exhibited no signs of recurrence. To the best of our knowledge, our patient represents the first reported case of a posterior pharyngeal wall schwannoma that occurred in association with NF2 and the first case in which the schwannoma was removed via transoral laser excision. This case illustrates that plexiform schwannoma is a possible finding in NF2 and that transoral laser excision is a safe surgical procedure in such a case.

The paramedian forehead flap for nasal lining reconstruction

March 2, 2015     Joshua D. Rosenberg, MD; Nikita Gupta, MD

The importance of reconstructing nasal lining defects cannot be overstated, especially for composite defects also involving the framework and skin soft-tissue envelope.

Common carotid artery dissection: A rare cause of acute neck swelling

March 2, 2015     Muhammad Adil Abbas Khan, MBBS, MRCS, DOHNS, FCPS(Plast); Alasdair Moffat, MBBS; Waseem Ahmed, MBBS, MRCS, DOHNS; Julian Wong, MBBS, FRCS(Vasc); Changez Jadun, MBBS, FRCR


Spontaneous carotid artery dissection is a rare condition with potentially devastating consequences. Internal carotid artery and vertebral artery dissections have been implicated as the cause of 20% of strokes occurring in patients younger than 45 years. We describe a very rare case of a nontraumatic common carotid artery dissection in a 45-year-old man that was initially misdiagnosed as a sternocleidomastoid hematoma. This case highlights the need for vigilance for this often-missed diagnosis, as well as the indication for noninvasive imaging in unidentified neck swellings.

Streamlined bilateral otologic surgery: How I do it

March 2, 2015     Tara E. Brennan, MD; Miriam I. Redleaf, MD


Bilateral simultaneous otologic surgery is being performed more commonly among otologists. The benefits of performing bilateral simultaneous cochlear implants in the pediatric population, in particular, have become increasingly recognized as the safety and efficacy of this operation have been recognized in the literature. Here we present a streamlined method of performing bilateral simultaneous otologic surgery that emphasizes midline placement of facial nerve electrodes and a method of sterile preparation and draping that affords direct exposure to both ears at one time, without the need to turn the head or adjust the drapes multiple times throughout the operation. Our approach facilitates frequent and efficient alternation between ears throughout the operation, optimizing efficiency of motion and instrumentation for the surgeon, and reducing overall operative and general anesthesia time for the patient.

World Voice Day 2015

March 2, 2015     Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS, Editor-in-chief

The 2015 theme is “Voice: The original social media.”

Previous gastric bypass surgery complicating total thyroidectomy

March 2, 2015     Bianca Alfonso, MD; Adam S. Jacobson, MD; Eran E. Alon, MD; Michael A. Via, MD


Hypocalcemia is a well-known complication of total thyroidectomy. Patients who have previously undergone gastric bypass surgery may be at increased risk of hypocalcemia due to gastrointestinal malabsorption, secondary hyperparathyroidism, and an underlying vitamin D deficiency. We present the case of a 58-year-old woman who underwent a total thyroidectomy for the follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Her history included Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. Following the thyroid surgery, she developed postoperative hypocalcemia that required large doses of oral calcium carbonate (7.5 g/day), oral calcitriol (up to 4 μg/day), intravenous calcium gluconate (2.0 g/day), calcium citrate (2.0 g/day), and ergocalciferol (50,000 IU/day). Her serum calcium levels remained normal on this regimen after hospital discharge despite persistent hypoparathyroidism. Bariatric surgery patients who undergo thyroid surgery require aggressive supplementation to maintain normal serum calcium levels. Preoperative supplementation with calcium and vitamin D is strongly recommended.

Maxillary sinus cyst containing a bone chip

March 2, 2015     Jae-Hoon Lee, MD

If bone fragments in the sinus can be removed, the patient's prognosis is usually excellent.

A case of solitary fibrous tumor arising from the palatine tonsil

March 2, 2015     Takeharu Kanazawa, MD, PhD; Kozue Kodama, MD; Mitsuhiro Nokubi, MD, PhD; Kazuo Gotsu, MD; Akihiro Shinnabe, MD; Masayo Hasegawa, MD; Gen Kusaka, MD, PhD; Yukiko Iino, MD, PhD


Solitary fibrous tumor (SFT) is a distinctive, relatively uncommon soft-tissue neoplasm that usually arises from the pleura. It occurs at various sites; head and neck lesions are very rare. While most of these tumors have a benign course, a small number have malignant potential. We describe a rare case of SFT arising from the left palatine tonsil in a 66-year-old Japanese woman. The mass was completely resected. Immunohistochemical studies were strongly positive for CD34 and bcl-2, mildly positive for phosphorylated protein kinase B and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, and negative for platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha and p53. These findings suggested that this tumor was benign. The patient showed no evidence of recurrence during 2 years of follow-up. We believe that the candidate prognostic marker should be checked to distinguish malignant from benign SFTs.

Cochlear implantation leading to successful stapedectomy in the contralateral only-hearing ear

March 2, 2015     Samantha J. Mikals, MD; Gerald I. Schuchman, PhD; Joshua G.W. Bernstein, PhD; Arnaldo L. Rivera, MD


Cochlear implants have recently begun to be offered to patients with single-sided deafness (SSD). Implantation in these patients has led to good results in suppressing ipsilateral tinnitus and in providing audiologic benefits in terms of speech perception in noise and localization. One previously unreported benefit of cochlear implantation in patients with SSD is the restoration of functional hearing in the previously deaf ear, which may allow for surgical opportunities in the contralateral hearing ear. We report a case in which cochlear implantation in the deaf left ear of a 50-year-old man allowed for surgical intervention in the previously only-hearing right ear, which in turn led to the restoration of normal middle ear function. Further studies may be warranted to consider the surgical candidacy of the contralateral only-hearing ear as another potential indication for cochlear implantation in patients with SSD.

Septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint caused by Aspergillus flavus infection as a complication of otitis externa

March 2, 2015     Lalee Varghese, MS, DLO, DNB; Rabin Chacko, MDS, FDS, FCPS; George M. Varghese, MD, DNB, DTMH; Anand Job, MS, DLO, MNAMS


Septic arthritis of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a very rare complication of otitis externa that can lead to ankylosis and destruction of the joint. We report the case of a 74-year-old man who developed aspergillosis of the TMJ following otitis externa. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of TMJ septic arthritis secondary to otitis externa caused by Aspergillus flavus. The patient was successfully managed with condylectomy, debridement, and drug treatment with voriconazole.

Progression of autoimmune inner ear disease to labyrinthitis ossificans: Clinical and radiologic correlation

March 2, 2015     Jenn Nee Khoo, FRCR; Tiong Yong Tan, FRCR


We report the case of a 42-year-old man who presented with fluctuating bilateral sensorineural hearing loss that subsequently progressed to a complete hearing loss, and we describe the correlation between the clinical and radiologic features of this case. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to demonstrate imaging evidence of progression from autoimmune inner ear disease to labyrinthitis ossificans. This is also the first reported case of a reversal of a loss of labyrinthine CISS (constructive interference in a steady state) signal, suggesting that T2-weighted hyposignal may be attributable to an alteration in labyrinthine fluid content and not to fibrosis only.

Metastatic breast carcinoma presenting as unilateral pulsatile tinnitus: A case report

February 2, 2015     Andrew Moore, MRCS, DOHNS; Max Cunnane, BMBS, BMedSci; Jason C. Fleming, MRCS, DOHNS, MEd


Pulsatile tinnitus is a rare symptom, yet it may herald life-threatening pathology in the absence of other symptoms or signs. Pulsatile tinnitus tends to imply a vascular cause, but metastatic disease also can present in this way. Clinicians should therefore adopt a specific diagnostic algorithm for pulsatile tinnitus and always consider the possibility of metastatic disease. A history of malignant disease and new cranial nerve palsies should raise clinical suspicion for skull base metastases. We describe the case of a 63-year-old woman presenting with unilateral subjective pulsatile tinnitus and a middle ear mass visible on otoscopy. Her background included the diagnosis of idiopathic unilateral vagal and hypoglossal nerve palsies 4 years previously, with normal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Repeat MRI and computed tomography imaging were consistent with metastatic breast carcinoma. This case raises important questions about imaging protocols and the role of serial scanning in patients at high risk of metastatic disease.

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