Life-threatening presentations of fibrovascular esophageal and hypopharyngeal polyps

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1994 Nov;103(11):838-42. doi: 10.1177/000348949410301102.


Giant fibrovascular polyps of the esophagus and hypopharynx are benign tumors of the upper digestive tract. Although a rare cause of asphyxiation, laryngeal impaction by a regurgitated polyp of the esophagus may be the initial symptom that brings the patient to request medical attention. Two new cases of giant fibrovascular polyps with dramatic and potentially life-threatening presentations illustrate the unpredictable behavior of these unusual tumors. Both patients presented to the emergency center with a history of coughing and eructation followed by temporary airway obstruction that was relieved by clenching a regurgitated fleshy mass between the teeth. Diagnostic and therapeutic intervention requires aggressive airway management, radiographic and endoscopic evaluation, and definitive surgical treatment. Tracheotomy was required in one patient, and successful endotracheal intubation provided satisfactory airway control in the second. Esophagoscopy revealed the origin of both tumors to be near the cricopharyngeal muscle. Complete surgical excision was curative in both cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Airway Obstruction / etiology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypopharynx*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Polyps / complications*
  • Polyps / pathology
  • Polyps / surgery