Parapharyngeal space primary tumours

Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp (Engl Ed). 2017 May-Jun;68(3):138-144. doi: 10.1016/j.otorri.2016.06.003.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction and objectives: The aim of this study is to present our experience with the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for parapharyngeal space tumours.

Patients and method: This study is a retrospective review of 90 patients diagnosed with tumours of the parapharyngeal space and treated surgically between 1984 and 2015. Patients whose tumours were not primary but invaded the parapharyngeal space expanding from another region, tumours originating in the deep lobe of the parotid gland and head and neck metastasis were excluded from this study.

Results: 74% percent of the parapharyngeal space neoplasms were benign and 26% were malignant. Pleomorphic adenoma was the most common neoplasm (27%), followed by paragangliomas (25%), miscellaneous malignant tumours (16%), neurogenic tumours (12%), miscellaneous benign tumours (10%), and malignant salivary gland tumours (10%). The transcervical approach was used in 56 cases, cervical-transparotid approach in 15 cases, type A infratemporal fossa approach in 13 cases, transmandibular approach in 4 cases and transoral approach in 2 cases. The most common complications were those deriving from nervous injuries.

Conclusions: Most parapharyngeal space tumours can be removed surgically with a low rate of complications and recurrence. The transcervical approach is the most frequently used.

Keywords: Espacio parafaríngeo; Neurinomas; Paragangliomas; Parapharyngeal space; Parapharyngeal tumours; Salivary gland neoplasms; Schwannomas; Tumores de glándulas salivares; Tumores parafaríngeo.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / epidemiology
  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / surgery
  • Adenoma, Pleomorphic / therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cranial Nerve Injuries / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intraoperative Complications / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Paraganglioma / epidemiology
  • Paraganglioma / surgery
  • Paraganglioma / therapy
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / surgery
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / therapy
  • Young Adult