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Salivary gland transfer surgery can reduce xerostomia in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients undergoing primary chemoradiation. A potential drawback of salivary gland transfer is the treatment delay associated with the surgery, and its complications. This study aimed to determine whether the treatment delay affects patient survival and to evaluate patient quality of life after salivary gland transfer.
A retrospective analysis of 138 patients (salivary gland transfer group, n = 58; non-salivary gland transfer group, n = 80) was performed. Patient survival was compared between these groups using multivariate analysis. Salivary gland transfer patients were further evaluated for surgical complications and for quality of life using the head and neck module of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire.
Salivary gland transfer and non-salivary gland transfer patients had comparable baseline clinical characteristics. Salivary gland transfer patients experienced a median treatment delay of 16.5 days before chemoradiation (p = 0.035). Multivariate analysis showed that this did not, however, correspond to a survival disadvantage (p = 0.24 and p = 0.97 for disease-free and disease-specific survival, respectively). A very low complication rate was reported for the salivary gland transfer group (1.7 per cent). Questionnaire scores for the item ‘xerostomia’ were very low in salivary gland transfer patients.
The treatment delay associated with salivary gland transfer surgery does not negatively affect patient survival. Oropharyngeal squamous cell patients have an excellent quality of life after salivary gland transfer.
Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare, aggressive neurocutaneous malignancy. This study investigated whether patients with Merkel cell carcinoma in the head and neck had poorer outcomes than patients with Merkel cell carcinoma located elsewhere.
A retrospective study was performed of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma treated at the Jewish General Hospital in Montréal, Canada, from 1993 to 2013. Associations between clinicopathological characteristics and disease-free and disease-specific survival rates were examined according to the Kaplan–Meier method.
Twenty-seven patients were identified. Although basic clinicopathological characteristics and treatments were similar between head and neck and non-head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma groups, disease-free and disease-specific survival rates were significantly lower in the head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma group (log-rank test; p = 0.043 and p = 0.001, respectively). Mortality was mainly due to distant metastasis.
Patients with head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma had poorer survival rates than patients with non-head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma in our study. The tendency to obtain close margins, a less predictable metastatic pattern, and/or intrinsic tumour factors related to the head and neck may explain this discrepancy.
Abnormalities of the third branchial arch are less common than those of the second arch and usually present with left thyroid lobe inflammation. This paper describes 15 cases of pyriform sinus fistulae of third branchial arch origin usually presenting as recurrent thyroid abscess on the left side.
A retrospective review of 15 cases of third arch fistulae managed 2000 and 2008, diagnosed based on histopathology and radiological evidence of a fistulous tract, and treated with fistulectomy with left hemithyroidectomy.
All patients (six boys and nine girls, aged three to 15 years) presented with recurrent low neck inflammation. Pre-operative ultrasound, computed tomography fistulography and barium swallow demonstrated a third arch fistulous tract, left-sided in all cases. The fistula was detected intra-operatively and pathologically in all cases. Surgery (successful in all cases) emphasised complete recurrent laryngeal nerve and ipsilateral pyriform sinus exposure, to facilitate tract excision, with left hemithyroidectomy. There was no recurrence over three to five years' follow up.
Paediatric recurrent low neck inflammatory episodes, due to thyroidal abscess, especially left-sided, should raise suspicion of pyriform sinus fistulae.
We report an extremely rare case of the simultaneous occurrence of a thyroglossal duct cyst and a lingual thyroid in the absence of an orthotopic thyroid gland, in a seven-year-old girl from South India.
Case report and a review of the English language literature on the subject.
The patient presented with a mass on the tongue that had been present for three years, and an anterior neck swelling that had been present for two years. Examination revealed a midline, pinkish, firm mass present on the posterior one-third of the tongue. The neck showed a midline cystic swelling in the infrahyoid position. Radiological imaging confirmed the clinical findings, revealing the absence of her thyroid gland in the normal location. Sistrunk's procedure was performed leaving behind a lingual thyroid. At 13-month follow up, the patient was euthyroid with no recurrence.
To our knowledge the association of a lingual thyroid and a thyroglossal cyst has only been reported once in the literature. The presence of a lingual thyroid in the absence of a normally located thyroid gland or functioning thyroid tissue along the thyroglossal tract, confirmed by radionuclide and computed tomography imaging, may indicate the failure of the normal descent of the thyroid gland during embryonic development. This probable absence of the descent of the thyroid raises questions regarding the origin of thyroglossal duct cysts.
We report an extremely rare case of rhinosporidiosis with involvement of both larynx and trachea, together with coexisting nasal, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal lesions, in a 32-year-old man.
Case report and review of the world literature concerning laryngotracheal and disseminated rhinosporidiosis.
A 32-year-old, South Indian man presented with a nasal mass of four years' duration, with progressive hoarseness for one year. Strawberry-like rhinosporidial masses were seen in both nasal cavities. Fibre-optic laryngoscopic examination revealed reddish masses with whitish surface specks, involving the glottis, subglottis and trachea. Computed tomography revealed soft tissue opacities involving both nasal cavities and the nasopharynx and extending to the oropharynx, with involvement of the larynx and trachea. Direct laryngoscopy and rigid bronchoscopy guided excision of the laryngeal and tracheal lesions was performed.
Rhinosporidiosis is a chronic, granulomatous disease which usually affects the mucous membranes of the nose and nasopharynx. Lower dissemination into the trachea is extremely rare. Laryngotracheal involvement poses many diagnostic and therapeutic challenges, due to the potential risk of bleeding and aspiration. In the presented case, local spread of rhinosporidiosis, due to direct spillage of spores from the nasopharynx into the larynx during episodes of bleeding or previous surgery, may have resulted in laryngotracheal involvement, although systemic spread cannot be excluded.
We report an extremely rare case of a complete congenital third branchial arch fistula in a nine-year-old boy.
A case report and a review of the English literature concerning third branchial arch fistula of congenital origin are presented.
A nine-year-old boy presented with a history of a small opening in the middle third of the anterior neck since birth, with recurrent surrounding swelling. There was no history of surgical drainage or spontaneous rupture. Computed tomography with contrast injection into the external cervical opening revealed a patent tract from the neck skin to the base of the pyriform sinus. Complete excision of the tract up to the pyriform sinus with left hemithyroidectomy was performed. Follow up at 22 months showed no recurrence.
To our knowledge, this case represents a very rare occurrence of the congenital variety of complete third branchial arch fistula at an unusual site. This case indicates that third branchial arch fistula can be complete, and may present in the anterior neck, an unusual site. In such cases, computed tomography fistulography and injection of dye into the pyriform sinus enables intra-operative delineation of the tract.
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