Spindle-cell hemangioendothelioma is an uncommon vascular lesion that exhibits a predilection for the extremities. Very few reports have been published describing this lesion in the head and neck, and to the best of our knowledge, its occurrence in the oropharynx has not been previously reported. In addition to reporting an unusual site of this lesion, our rationale for publishing this case is to comment on the diagnostic dilemma that arose in view of an unclear clinicohistopathologic pattern and to discuss this lesion's similarity to other aggressive tumors.
Descending necrotizing mediastinitis is believed to be a rare and serious complication of odontogenic and oropharyngeal infections. It is associated with a high (up to 40%) mortality rate, which can be attributed to delays in diagnosis and inadequate surgical drainage. Between May 1999 and September 2002, we treated 7 cases at our institution in New Delhi, indicating that such fulminating infections are not so rare in developing countries. In our 7 cases, a high index of suspicion and early computed tomography helped us make a rapid diagnosis and initiate prompt treatment, which resulted in a favorable outcome in 6 cases (mortality rate: 14.3%).