Cervical chordoma with retropharyngeal extension presenting with impaired voice

Tumori. 2008 Nov-Dec;94(6):873-6. doi: 10.1177/030089160809400619.


Aims and background: We report an extremely rare case of cervical chordoma presenting with impaired voice.

Method: Case report and a review of the literature concerning the presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of a cervical chordoma.

Results: A singing teacher complaining of dysphonia was examined and surgically treated for a retropharyngeal extension of a cervical chordoma. A local recurrence was treated with proton beam therapy. Among primary malignant tumors of bone, chordomas account for 3-4% of all cases. Chordoma is typically a locally aggressive tumor with a high propensity for local recurrence. Its management involves surgery, radiotherapy, or both.

Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the first report in the world literature of a retropharyngeal extension of a cervical chordoma presenting with impaired voice. This case indicates that bony tumors of the spine may present first to voice-disorder clinicians. Increased awareness of this neoplasm may lead to earlier diagnosis and better treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Chordoma / complications*
  • Chordoma / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis
  • Voice Disorders / etiology*