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Risk factors for cervical lymph node metastasis in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma: A meta-analysis

February 24, 2016  |  Nopawan Vorasubin, MD; Chau Nguyen, MD, FACS; Marilene Wang, MD


A number of studies of predictive factors for lymph node metastasis in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma have been published. We conducted a systematic meta-analysis of some of these studies, and we present our findings herein. We searched the PubMed database and found 13 eligible studies and case series of papillary thyroid microcarcinoma that were published in the English-language literature from January 2001 through December 2012, and we analyzed their findings. The most commonly investigated tumor characteristics associated with lymph node metastasis were size, multifocality, capsular invasion, and lymphovascular invasion. With regard to the risk of developing lymph node metastasis, patients with larger tumors had a 1.93 greater chance (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.36 to 2.73, p < 0.001), those with multifocal tumors had a 3.03 greater chance (95% CI: 2.05 to 4.47; p < 0.001), those with capsular invasion had a 4.13 greater chance (95% CI: 2.40 to 7.10; p < 0.001), and those with lymphovascular invasion had a 2.76 greater chance (95% CI: 1.50 to 5.07; p = 0.005). We conclude that patients with larger and/or multifocal papillary thyroid microcarcinomas and tumors associated with capsular or lymphovascular invasion have a significantly greater risk of developing lymph node metastasis.

Repair of a posterior perforation of the trachea following thyroidectomy with a muscle transposition flap

February 24, 2016  |  Alistair B. Escott, MBChB; Rosalynd S. Pochin, MBBS, BSc (Hons), FRACS


Tracheal perforation is a rare postoperative complication of total thyroidectomy. While previously documented cases have been reported in the anterior aspect of the trachea after a total thyroidectomy, we report what we believe is the first documented case of a perforation in the posterior aspect of the trachea. Our patient was a 29-year-old woman who presented with symptoms of tracheal impingement in the context of a right-sided goiter that subsequent investigation found to be three benign colloid nodules. Fourteen days after her total thyroidectomy, she presented with surgical emphysema surrounding the wound. Computed tomography identified a 2.5-mm defect in the right posterior lateral trachea, posterior to the cartilaginous ring. The defect failed to seal spontaneously, and after 48 hours, the patient remained symptomatic. During reexploration, the defect was successfully repaired with a myovascular transposition flap in conjunction with Tisseel tissue-bonding agent. This technique has the potential to be applied in future intraoperative and postoperative cases of tracheal perforation.

Swallowing frequency: Impact of accumulated oropharyngeal secretion levels and gustatory stimulation

February 24, 2016  |  Susan L. Brady, MS, CCC-SLP, BRS-S; Michele W. Wesling, MA, CCC-SLP; Joseph J. Donzelli, MD; Scott Kaszuba, MD


We conducted a prospective, descriptive study of 27 individuals with known or suspected dysphagia to investigate the relationship between swallowing frequency, accumulated oropharyngeal secretion levels, and gustatory stimulation. Assessment of the secretion level was quantified with the use of a previously published 5-point rating scale using endoscopy. Overall, we found a moderate relationship between the baseline swallowing frequency at rest and the accumulated oropharyngeal secretion level (Pearson correlation 0.470; p = 0.01). The study sample was divided into two groups based on their secretion level. Group 1 (n = 19; mean age 59.7 ± 21.5 years) included patients whose accumulated oropharyngeal secretion level was rated as 1 (normal) or 2 (mild). Group 2 (n = 8; mean age 69.78 ± 8.35 years) included patients whose accumulated oropharyngeal secretion level was rated as 4 (severe) or 5 (profound). For Group 1, swallowing frequency increased from a baseline of 1.05 to 5.26 swallows over 2 minutes, following gustatory stimulation; for Group 2 it increased from a baseline of 0.125 swallows to 3.5 swallows. These results indicate that individuals with a lower baseline swallowing frequency at rest demonstrated a higher accumulated oropharyngeal secretion level as viewed by nasal endoscopy and that, regardless of secretion level, gustatory stimulation was effective at increasing swallowing frequency. Increasing swallowing frequency may be a functional dysphagia treatment objective in efforts to improve the efficiency of the swallow and may offer better management of accumulated oropharyngeal secretions.

2016 Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week: April 10-16

February 24, 2016  |  Cherie-Ann O. Nathan, MD, FACS; Wendy Stern, MD

Ganglioneuromas involving the hypoglossal nerve and the vagus nerve in a child: Surgical difficulties

February 24, 2016  |  Jaimanti Bakshi, MS, MNAMS; Abdul Wadood Mohammed, MS; Saudamini Lele, MS; Ritambra Nada, MD


Ganglioneuromas are benign tumors that arise from the Schwann cells of the autonomic nervous system. They are usually seen in the posterior mediastinum and the paraspinal retroperitoneum in relation to the sympathetic chain. In the head and neck, they are usually related to the cervical sympathetic ganglia or to the ganglion nodosum of the vagus nerve or the hypoglossal nerve. We describe what we believe is the first reported case of multiple ganglioneuromas of the parapharyngeal space in which two separate cranial nerves were involved. The patient was a 10-year-old girl who presented with a 2-year history of a painless and slowly progressive swelling on the left side of her neck and a 1-year history hoarseness. She had no history of relevant trauma or surgery. Intraoperatively, we found two tumors in the left parapharyngeal space-one that had arisen from the hypoglossal nerve and the other from the vagus nerve. Both ganglioneuromas were surgically removed, but the affected nerves had to be sacrificed. Postoperatively, the patient exhibited hypoglossal nerve and vocal fold palsy, but she was asymptomatic. In addition to the case description, we discuss the difficulties we faced during surgical excision.

Granulomatous ulcers of the nose and oropharynx: Lupus vulgaris revisited

February 24, 2016  |  Mainak Dutta, MS; Soumya Ghatak, MS; Ramanuj Sinha, MS, DNB

Lupus vulgaris manifests as a postprimary chronic granulomatous ulcer in patients with moderate to good immunity.

Sinonasal glomangiopericytoma: Is anything new?

February 24, 2016  |  Panagiotis Asimakopoulos, MSc, MRCS; Mohammed Iqbal Syed, MD, MRCS; Timothy Andrews, MD, FRCPath; Sheeba Syed, MD, FRCPath; Alun Williams, MD, FRCS


More than 100 cases of sinonasal hemangiopericytoma have been reported in the literature, but only a handful of cases of nasal glomangiopericytoma. In this article, we report a case of a nasal glomangiopericytoma that was treated with endonasal surgical excision. We also attempt to clarify the confusion that attends to the nomenclature surrounding the terms glomangiopericytoma and hemangiopericytoma, which are often used interchangeably. Although glomangiopericytomas are histologically similar to sinonasal hemangiopericytomas, they sometimes behave in a different clinical manner. To further enhance our understanding of nasal glomangiopericytomas, more cases need to be reported. This may improve our ability to establish specific treatment modalities for this type of neoplasm and to predict clinical outcomes.

Thymoma with an incidental benign laryngeal mass mimicking laryngeal carcinoma: Case report

February 24, 2016  |  Gokce Simsek, MD; Istemihan Akin, MD; Cem Saka, MD; Fulya Koybasioglu, MD


Thymic carcinomas are rarely seen. Because of recurrent laryngeal nerve involvement, hoarseness is a common presenting symptom. Persistent hoarseness in a male smoker past his fifth decade is also a distinctive symptom for laryngeal carcinoma. Stroboscopic laryngeal examination and biopsy are required for the diagnosis. In this article we describe a case involving a patient with thymic carcinoma who, interestingly, also presented with a benign laryngeal mass with unilateral vocal fold fixation. We emphasize the importance of keeping in mind nonlaryngeal pathologies invading the recurrent laryngeal nerve in patients with persistent hoarseness and a nonspesific laryngeal mass.

Concurrent chemoradiotherapy with capecitabine/cisplatin versus 5-fluorouracil/cisplatin in resectable laryngohypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

February 24, 2016  |  Dongbin Ahn, MD; Jin Ho Sohn, MD, PhD; Jae Hyug Kim, MD; Jeong Eun Lee, MD; Shin Hyung Park, MD; Jae Chul Kim, MD


A combination of 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin (FP regimen) is widely used as a standard treatment for head and neck cancer. Recently, capecitabine has received increased attention. We conducted a retrospective study to compare the efficacy and safety of the FP regimen with that of the “XP regimen,” which entails concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) with capecitabine and cisplatin, in patients with resectable laryngohypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We retrospectively reviewed the records of 71 patients-67 men and 4 women, mean age 63.1 years-who had undergone CCRT from August 2004 through March 2010 as a primary treatment for resectable laryngohypopharyngeal SCC. There were 19 patients in the FP group and 52 in the XP group. With regard to chemotherapy morbidity, the XP group had less need for healthcare resources and fewer delays in treatment due to toxicity. After CCRT, a higher (but not statistically significant) rate of complete response was observed in the XP group than in the FP group (71.2 vs. 57.9%; p = 0.291); the XP group also had a better, although not significant, response among patients with neck metastases (67.7 vs. 30%; p = 0.063). During follow-up (mean: 34.8 ± 30.6 mo), recurrence rates were 25.6% in the XP group and 21.4% in the FP group-again, not a statistically significant difference (p = 0.745). At the time of the final follow-up, 20 of the 71 patients (28.2%) had died of disease. Compared with the FP group, the XP group had a significantly lower incidence of disease-specific death (21.2 vs. 47.4% respectively; p = 0.030). However, the Kaplan-Meier method identified no significant difference between the two groups in the 3-year survival rate (69.6 vs. 63.2%; p = 0.263). Overall toxicities and grade 3 or 4 toxicities (with the exception of hand-foot syndrome) were generally far less common in the XP group, with statistical significance identified for patients who experienced anemia, nausea, and vomiting. On the basis of our experience, we conclude that the results of the XP regimen were comparable to those of the FP regimen for CCRT in patients with resectable laryngohypopharyngeal SCC in terms of treatment efficacy, toxicity, and patient convenience.

Methylene blue and parathyroid adenoma localization: Three new cases of a rare cutaneous complication

February 24, 2016  |  Elliot D. Lieberman, MD; Rakhi Thambi, MD; Kristen B. Pytynia, MD, MPH


Methylene blue has been safely used for the localization of parathyroid glands during parathyroidectomy, and only a few adverse effects have been documented. Methylene blue administration as a cause of pulse-oximetry-related skin injury is extremely rare. We describe 2 such cases in patients who developed a blister on the second digit at the pulse oximetry site after an uncomplicated excision of a parathyroid adenoma. In another case, a patient became bradycardic intraoperatively; she was successfully resuscitated, but she incurred a second-degree burn at the pulse oximetry site. In all 3 cases, the burns resolved with local wound care. We publish this report to alert surgeons and anesthesiologists to the risk of skin complications with the use of high-dose intraoperative methylene blue.