Pharynx

Sensitivity and specificity of rapid antigen detection testing for diagnosing pharyngitis in the emergency department

March 31, 2010     Sezgin Sarikaya, MD, Can Aktaş, MD, Didem Ay, MD, Asli Çetin, MD, and Ferudun Celikmen, MD
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Abstract

Acute pharyngitis in adults is primarily a viral infection; only about 10% of cases are of bacterial etiology. Most cases of bacterial pharyngitis are caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS). One laboratory method for the diagnosis of GABHS is rapid antigen diagnostic testing (RADT), which can be processed during an emergency department visit and which has become a popular alternative to throat swab cultures. We conducted a study to define the sensitivity and specificity of RADT, using throat culture results as the gold standard, in 100 emergency department patients who presented with symptoms consistent with streptococcal pharyngitis. We found that RADT had a sensitivity of 68.2% (15 of 22), a specificity of 89.7% (70 of 78), a positive predictive value of 65.2% (15 of 23), and a negative predictive value of 90.9% (70 of 77). We conclude that RADT is useful in the emergency department when the clinical suspicion is GABHS, but results should be confirmed with a throat culture in patients whose RADT results are negative.

Giant retropharyngeal abscess in an adult as a complication of acute tonsillitis: Case report

October 31, 2009     Cem Ozbek, MD, Safak Dagli, MD, E. Evrim Unsal Tuna, MD, Onur Ciftci, MD, and Cafer Ozdem, MD
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Abstract

Retropharyngeal abscess is an uncommon entity that can have severe and even fatal complications if it is not identified and treated early. Clinical and radiologic findings must be considered together prior to surgical drainage of a suspected retropharyngeal abscess. Airway obstruction may require emergent surgical management with tracheotomy. We describe the case of a 22-year-old man with a massive retropharyngeal abscess that was caused by inadequate treatment of acute tonsillitis. He responded well to surgical drainage and empiric antibiotic therapy.

Bean sprout impaction in the pharynx: Two cases of this unusual foreign body

August 31, 2009     Dulani Mendis, DOHNS, MRCS and Simon Thorne, DLO, MRCSEd
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Abstract

We report 2 cases of bean sprout impaction in the pharynx. To the best of our knowledge, pharyngeal impaction of a bean sprout has not been previously described in the literature. We also comment on the theoretical infective risks associated with the long-term impaction of organic foreign bodies and the validity of a thorough ENT examination, even when the foreign body appears to be insignificant.

Nontraumatic retropharyngeal abscess complicated by cervical osteomyelitis and epidural abscess in post-Katrina New Orleans: Four cases

June 30, 2009     Sabeen Faruqui, MS, Enrique Palacios, MD, Paul Friedlander, MD, Miguel Melgar, MD, PhD, Jorge Alvernia, MD, and Phillip Vaughan Parry, MD
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Abstract

Most retropharyngeal abscesses, including iatrogenic cases, are caused by trauma. Nontraumatic retropharyngeal abscesses usually occur secondary to infection of the retropharyngeal lymph nodes. Because these particular nodes usually disappear by the age of 4 or 5 years, a nontraumatic retropharyngeal abscess in an adult is extremely rare. When they do occur in adults, they are generally seen in immunocompromised patients and in intravenous drug abusers. Left untreated, a retropharyngeal abscess can lead to rare and fatal complications such as cervical osteomyelitis, epidural abscess, and discitis. Retropharyngeal abscesses can be diagnosed with a thorough history of risk factors, an examination for neurologic deficits, and radiologic studies, particularly magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment involves intravenous antibiotic therapy and surgical drainage. During follow-up, it is important to closely monitor the results of clinical neurologic examinations and weekly determinations of the C-reactive protein level and erythrocyte sedimentation rate in order to assess the response to therapy. We report 4 cases of nontraumatic retropharyngeal abscess complicated by cervical osteomyelitis and epidural abscess that were seen in New Orleans within 3 years of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the U.S. Gulf Coast in August 2005.

Malignant rhabdoid tumor of the parapharyngeal space

March 1, 2009     Anthony Sparano, MD, Portia Kreiger, MD, and Ken Kazahaya, MD
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Abstract

Malignant rhabdoid tumor has been a somewhat controversial entity since it was first described in 1978 as a possible sarcomatous variant of Wilms tumor. Eventually, however, it was found to be a distinct neoplastic tumor with histologic characteristics similar to those of rhabdomyosarcoma. Malignant rhabdoid tumors affect children. Clinically, they occur primarily in the kidney, and they behave aggressively. Associated mortality is significant, even with combined-modality treatment regimens. We describe the case of a large extrarenal malignant rhabdoid tumor of the parapharyngeal space with extension to the infratemporal fossa and skull base in a previously healthy 2-year-old girl who had presented with a cervical mass and ipsilateral Horner syndrome. The patient underwent complete surgical extirpation of the lesion and received adjunctive cisplatin chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and she remained disease-free at 9 months of follow-up. Given the age group of the patients that these neoplasms most commonly affect and given the neoplasms' resemblance to rhabdomyosarcoma and other small round-cell tumors of the head and neck, discussion of the associated clinical pathology, imaging characteristics, histopathologic features, and mode of management are of particular importance, especially so in view of the uncommon location of the tumor in this specific case. Such a discussion may help lead to minimization of misdiagnosis and maximization of therapeutic benefit.

Viral supraglottitis in an adult

February 1, 2009     Ali Lotfizadeh, MD and Dinesh K. Chhetri, MD
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Smooth-muscle tumor of the parapharyngeal space

February 1, 2009     Sofia Avitia, MD, Jason Hamilton, MD, and Ryan F. Osborne, MD, FACS
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Intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia (Masson lesion) of the hypopharynx and larynx

December 1, 2008     M. Güven Güvenç, MD, Levent Dereköylü, MD, Nazim Korkut, MD, Ferhan Öz, MD, and Büge Öz, MD
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Abstract

Masson lesion is characterized by a benign intravascular papillary hyperplasia and subsequent thrombosis. Clinically, this lesion can be misdiagnosed as mucocele, hemangioma, Kaposi sarcoma, angiosarcoma, pyogenic granuloma, and several other lesions. In this article, we report a case of intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia of the hypopharynx and larynx, which caused dysphagia in an 18-year-old female patient. The lesion was excised entirely via a lateral pharyngotomy approach. We discuss the clinical and histopathologic features, differential diagnosis, and treatment of this uncommon entity.

Laryngopharyngeal reflux: Concepts and controversies

September 25, 2008    
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Head and neck manifestations of lymphogranuloma venereum

July 31, 2008     Diana T. Albay, MD and Glenn E. Mathisen, MD
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Abstract

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)—caused by Chlamydia trachomatis serovars L1, L2, or L3—rarely occurs in the United States. The disease clinically manifests in three stages: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary manifestation, a self-limited genital ulcer at the site of inoculation, often is absent by the time the patient seeks medical attention. The most common clinical manifestation of LGV is evident in its secondary stage: unilateral tender inguinal and/or femoral lymphadenopathy. However, proctocolitis or inflammatory involvement of perirectal or perianal lymphatic tissues resulting in fistulas and strictures may also occur. The diagnosis of LGV is usually made serologically and by exclusion of other causes of inguinal lymphadenopathy or genital ulcers. Doxycycline is the preferred treatment; it cures the infection and prevents ongoing tissue damage. This case highlights an unusual manifestation of LGV infection—cervical lymphadenopathy following suspected oropharyngeal infection with C trachomatis. Head and neck manifestations of LGV may become an increasing problem in the future if sexual practices such as orogenital contact become more widespread.

Results after intensified therapy for advanced carcinoma of the hypopharynx

July 31, 2008     Jochen P. Windfuhr, MD, PhD, Mathias Andrae, MD, Yue-Shih Chen, MD, Hans B. Makoski, MD, Michael Schröder, MD, and Klaus Sesterhenn, MD
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Abstract

We conducted a retrospective chart review of 85 patients (95% male) with advanced but resectable hypopharyngeal carcinoma to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensified multimodal treatment protocol. This protocol involved concomitant chemo- and radiotherapy before and after total laryngectomy, partial pharyngectomy, and radical neck dissection. Our study population was divided into two groups on the basis of extrasurgical therapy. Group A was made up of 19 patients who had received only postlaryngectomy radiotherapy; 6 of these patients had a stage III tumor and 13 had a stage IV tumor. Group B included 66 patients who had received the intensified treatment; 1 patient had stage II disease, 12 had stage III disease, and 53 had stage IV disease. We found no significant differences in 5-year survival (p = 0.86) or in disease-free interval (p = 0.57) between group A and group B; median survival was 45 and 50 months, respectively. Likewise, when we analyzed the patients in both groups according to tumor stage (stage III vs. stage IV), we found no significant differences in either 5-year survival (group A: p = 0.95; group B: p = 0.18) or disease-free interval (group A: p = 0.74; group B: p = 0.17). We conclude that the prognosis of advanced hypopharyngeal carcinoma remains poor despite treatment with an intensified multimodality protocol. Therefore, the therapeutic strategy should be to individualize treatment with the goal of preserving laryngeal function and optimizing postoperative quality of life.

An unusual case of adult airway obstruction from a lymphovenous malformation

June 30, 2008     Maj. Wayne J. Harsha, MD, Maj. James V. Crawford, MD, Lt. Col., and Douglas M. Sorensen, MD, FACS
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Abstract

Lymphatic, venous, and mixed lymphovenous malformations are low-flow lesions that are present at birth and grow proportionately with the patient. We describe an unusual presentation of a lymphovenous malformation in an adult. A 19-year-old man presented to the emergency department with complaints of recent upper respiratory tract symptoms, increasing left-sided sore throat, voice change, odynophagia, dysphagia, and occasional subjective fevers and blood-tinged sputum. Examination revealed the presence of a left peritonsillar bulge consistent with a peritonsillar abscess; however, findings on needle aspiration were negative. The patient was admitted for intravenous steroid and antibiotic therapy. Within 24 hours, his airway became compromised, and he underwent an awake tracheotomy and biopsy, which showed a lymphovenous malformation. Magnetic resonance imaging the following day revealed a large, poorly circumscribed, heterogeneous left parapharyngeal mass consistent with a vascu-lar malformation. With continuation of the steroids and antibiotics, the lesion regressed, and the patient was subsequently decannulated. At the 1-year follow-up, he exhibited no clinical symptoms, and he was in good health off steroids.

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