Spontaneous cervical hematoma: a report of two cases

Ear Nose Throat J. 1999 Mar;78(3):168, 171, 175.


Cervical hematomas are generally associated with trauma, surgery, and tumors. Although they are rare, they can be life-threatening because they put the patient at risk for great-vessel compression and upper airway obstruction. We describe two cases of spontaneous cervical hematoma--one in an 81-year-old man and the other in a 30-year-old woman. The man reported dysphonia, dysphagia, and neck swelling of 5 hours' duration. He had been taking 100 mg/day of aspirin for a cardiovascular condition. Examination revealed that the man had polycythemia vera. The woman was found to have neck ache, odynophagia, and cervical ecchymosis; portal hypertension, schistosomiasis, and blood dyscrasia were also found. Both patients denied trauma. A suspected diagnosis of cervical hematoma was confirmed by computed tomography, and treatment was instituted. The hematomas resolved in about 2 weeks. The treatment of cervical hematoma is controversial, although it is agreed that the evaluation of upper airway obstruction and its permeability is mandatory. Surgical treatment is generally reserved for complicated cases because of the risk of infection or bleeding.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Airway Obstruction / drug therapy
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hematoma / complications
  • Hematoma / diagnosis*
  • Hematoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / complications
  • Hypertension, Portal / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Neck*
  • Polycythemia Vera / complications
  • Polycythemia Vera / diagnosis
  • Schistosomiasis / complications
  • Schistosomiasis / diagnosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents