Solitary myofibroma of the oropharynx causing airway obstruction in an adult | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Solitary myofibroma of the oropharynx causing airway obstruction in an adult

| Reprints
September 18, 2014
by Harrison W. Lin, MD; David Jung, MD, PhD; Linda N. Lee, MD; Peter M. Sadow, MD, PhD; James W. Rocco, MD, PhD


Myofibromas are benign neoplasms believed to be the most common fibrous proliferation of childhood. We present an unusual case of a 44-year-old woman who developed acute airway obstruction from a myofibroma in the oropharynx and accordingly required emergent tracheotomy tube placement. Serial laser excisions to adequately remove the entire lesion while maintaining pharyngeal structure and function were performed, and the patient was successfully decannulated. To date she has remained free of signs and symptoms of recurrence. Although rare in adults, solitary myofibromas should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any subcutaneous or submucosal head and neck lesion. Moreover, clinicians treating adult and pediatric patients with known solitary or multicentric forms of myofibroma should be aware of its potential for airway obstruction. Patients found to have a pharyngeal myofibroma should be managed with airway stabilization, surgical excision with preservation of speech and swallow function, and close postoperative monitoring for recurrence.

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