Plasmacytoma and upper airway obstruction

Am J Otolaryngol. 1999 Jul-Aug;20(4):257-9. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0709(99)90011-x.


Extramedullary plasmacytomas are hematologic malignancies that occur primarily in the head and neck region. They usually involve the submucosal lymphoid tissue of the nasopharynx or paranasal sinuses and present as soft tissue masses, but have not been previously reported to cause airway obstruction. In general, detection of plasmacytoma antedates the eventual development of the systemic hematologic malignancy, multiple myeloma, by months or years. We describe a unique case of acute upper respiratory tract obstruction secondary to compression by an extramedullary plasmacytoma occurring in the neck of a patient with history of long-standing multiple myeloma. Upper airway obstruction may be a manifestation of untreated plasmacytoma. It is imperative for otolaryngologists and head and neck surgeons to be familiar with this entity because total excision, as well as radiation therapy, for plasmacytomas can be curative in patients without underlying overt plasma cell dyscrasias.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Airway Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / complications
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Plasmacytoma / complications
  • Plasmacytoma / diagnosis*
  • Plasmacytoma / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed