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Clinical Note
July 2002

Dysphagia Due to a Large Schwannoma of the OropharynxCase Report and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology (Drs Thurnher, Quint, Knerer, and Denk), Clinical Pathology (Dr Pammer), and Radiology (Dr Schima), the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical and Experimental Radiological Research (Dr Schima), and the Section of Phoniatrics (Dr Denk), University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002;128(7):850-852. doi:10.1001/archotol.128.7.850

Schwannoma is a benign, encapsulated tumor that is derived from Schwann cells. Approximately 25% to 45% of schwannomas occur in the head and neck. The most common site is the parapharyngeal space of the neck; intrapharyngeal occurrence is extremely rare. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a pedunculated schwannoma in the supraglottic oropharynx. Because of the location and mass of the tumor, the main symptom was dysphagia. The tumor was excised via direct microlaryngoscopy, and no recurrence was seen after 2 years of follow-up. When schwannomas are located in the pharynx, they may cause dyspnea and dysphagia or impair phonation. Therefore, when dysphagia is present, a thorough diagnostic procedure should be performed to evaluate the morphology and function of the upper aerodigestive tract.