Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Case contributed by Dr Smita Deb


Dysphagia. Heavy cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.

Patient Data

Age: 65
Gender: Male
  • Large exophytic mass centred on the right side of the posterior oropharyngeal wall (13 x 26 x 22 mm).
  • Extends between tongue base and hyoid level. There is involvement of both the posterior wall, with crossing of the midline, and the lateral wall, to the superior aspect of the piriform sinus.
  • Lymphadenopathy:
    • Right level 2b with central necrosis
    • Right level 2a lymphadenopathy
    • The largest conglomerate mass invades the adjacent right internal jugular vein at C3 level, decreasing its lumen to trickle flow.
  • Incidental note is made of occlusion of the left internal carotid artery from its origin. The right ICA has about a 50% proximal stenosis.
  • Posterior right exophytic oropharyngeal mass (27 x 13 x 23 mm) demonstrates homogenous enhancement.
  • Abnormal enhancing tissue extends into the epiglottis, across the midline and into a T2 hyperintense region, which lies in the left epiglottis fold and valleculae.
  • No pre-epiglottic space involvement. No bony invasion.
  • The uvula is prominent ? tumor or venous congestion.
  • Left internal carotid flow void is lost consistent with occlusion.
  • Lymphadenopathy
    • Right neck enhancing necrotic nodal mass present (56 x 28 x 64mm). Probable extracapsular spread. It contacts the left jugular vein and compresses/invades it but flow is seen distally and convincing evidence of thrombosis present.
    • Right level Ib
    • Other tiny bilaterally scattered lymph nodes not suspicious on size criteria.

Case Discussion

Case submitted by Dr Smita Deb and A/Prof Pramit Phal.

Oropharyngeal SCC. Staging: 

  • T4a - tumour invasion is seen in the larynx (epiglottis + folds).
  • N3 - lymph node metastasis >6cm.
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Case information

rID: 31172
Case created: 22nd Sep 2014
Last edited: 20th May 2017
System: Head & Neck
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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