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Radiofrequency thermotherapy in the treatment of tongue base lymphoid hyperplasia: case report

  • T K Nicoli (a1), S Gupta (a1) and B Kotecha (a1)



This paper describes a case where a patient diagnosed with tongue base lymphoid hyperplasia was successfully treated with radiofrequency excision and interstitial radiofrequency-induced thermotherapy.

Case report:

A 53-year-old female presented with globus sensation, mild dysphagia, nocturnal breathing problems and ‘hot potato voice’ dysphonia. On flexible nasendoscopy, a visible tongue mass was seen to obstruct the posterior oropharynx. On magnetic resonance imaging scans, this mass looked suspicious of lymphoma, but on histology was confirmed to be benign reactive lymphoid hyperplasia. Sleep study findings indicated moderate obstructive sleep apnoea, with an apnoea–hypopnoea index of 18.1 events per hour. She was treated with radiofrequency-induced thermotherapy on three separate occasions.


A post-operative sleep study showed a dramatic improvement in the patient's apnoea–hypopnoea index (3.8 events per hour). This correlated well with the improvement in her sleep quality and reduction of snoring. Over the follow-up period, there has been sustained resolution of dyspnoea, with almost total restoration of voice quality.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr T K Nicoli, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, 330 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8DA, UK E-mail:


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Radiofrequency thermotherapy in the treatment of tongue base lymphoid hyperplasia: case report

  • T K Nicoli (a1), S Gupta (a1) and B Kotecha (a1)


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