An International Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Clinics

Register      Login

VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2016 ) > List of Articles


A Study of Primary Parapharyngeal Space Tumors in a Tertiary Care Center

Nadia Shirazi, SS Bist, Vinish Agarwal, Lovneesh Kumar, Mahima Luthra

Keywords : Parapharyngeal space tumor,Pleomorphic adenoma,Transcervical approach

Citation Information : Shirazi N, Bist S, Agarwal V, Kumar L, Luthra M. A Study of Primary Parapharyngeal Space Tumors in a Tertiary Care Center. Int J Otorhinolaryngol Clin 2016; 8 (1):13-17.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10003-1217

Published Online: 01-08-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2016; The Author(s).



This study was conducted to evaluate the demographic profile, clinicopathological features, and surgical approaches used to treat primary parapharyngeal space tumors.

Materials and methods

This was a retrospective study of the primary parapharyngeal space tumors treated surgically from April 2012 to March 2015 in a tertiary care teaching center. The study population included 16 cases. The inflammatory lesions and secondary metastasis in parapharyngeal space were excluded. The clinicopathological features, surgical management, and outcome of all the cases were analyzed.


The gender distribution was 56.2% males and 43.7% females. The median age was 38 years with range from 16 to 62 years. The most common presenting symptom was neck swelling in 87.5% cases, and oropharyngeal bulge was the most common examination finding in 100% cases. Magnetic resonance image was done in 87.5% cases and contrast computed tomography (CT) scan in 31.25% cases, while 25% cases underwent both. The tumor was in the pre-styloid compartment in 62.5% cases and post-styloid in 31.25% cases. In 75% cases, cytology was done directly, while in 25% cases, CT–guided cytology was performed. Cytological diagnosis was histologically correlated in 81.2% cases while changed in 18.7% cases. On histology, 87.5% cases were benign and 12.5% were malignant. The most common histological variant was pleomorphic adenoma in 56.25% cases. The most common surgical approach used was transcervical in 75% cases. Mean tumor size was 7 cm. Complications occurred in 12.5% cases.


Imaging modalities in combination with fine needle aspiration cytology are a very good diagnostic tool before planning for intervention. The transcervical approach is an excellent technique to deal with small to moderate-size tumors and even for large well-defined tumors.

How to cite this article

Bist SS, Kumar L, Agarwal V, Shirazi N, Luthra M. A Study of Primary Parapharyngeal Space Tumors in a Tertiary Care Center. Int J Otorhinolaryngol Clin 2016;8(1):13-17.

PDF Share
  1. Parapharyngeal space tumors: An 18 years review. J Laryngol Otol 2002 Mar;116(3):170–175.
  2. Primary tumors of the parapharyngeal space. Our experience in 51 patients. Acta Otorrinolaringol Esp 2009 Jan-Feb;60(1):19–24.
  3. Para pharyngeal space tumors: a review of 10-year experience. Internet J Pathol 2009;8:2.
  4. Fine needle aspiration cytology of parapharyngeal tumors. J Cytol 2009 Jul;26(3):102–104.
  5. A systematic review of 1143 parapharyngeal space tumors reported over 20 years. Oral Oncol 2014 May;50(5):421–430.
  6. Approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of tumors of the parapharyngeal space. Head Neck Surg 1982 Mar-Apr;4(4):281–289.
  7. The diagnosis of tumors involving the parapharyngeal space by computed tomography. Br J Radiol 1989 Jun;62(738):526–531.
  8. Peroral fine needle aspiration cytology of parapharyngeal lesions. Acta Cytol 1993 Sep-Oct;37(5):694–698.
  9. Surgical management of some unusual parapharyngeal space tumors. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2001 Oct;53(4):281–284.
  10. Tomors of parapharyngeal space: preoperative evaluation, diagnosis and surgical approaches. Ann Otol Rhino Laryngol 1981 Jan-Feb;90(1 Pt 4):3–15.
  11. Image-guided fine needle aspiration of the head and neck: five years experience. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1998 Oct;124(10):1155–1161.
  12. Salivary gland imaging. In: Bailey B, editor. Head and neck surgery. The American Academy of Otolaryagology. Philadephia (PA): JB Lippincott; 1993. p. 30–45.
  13. Parapharyngeal space neoplasms. Head Neck 1995 Mar-Apr;17(2):124–130.
  14. Primary parapharyngeal space tumors in a Mexican cancer center. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2005 Apr;132(4):587–591.
  15. Management of high parapharyngeal space tumors. Ear Nose Throat J 1991 Sep;70(9):639–647.
  16. Management of tumors ariging in parapharyngeal space. Laryngoscope 1990 Jun;100(6):583–589.
  17. Tumors and surgery of the parapharyngeal space. Laryngoscope 1994 May;104(5 Pt 2 Suppl 63):1–28.
  18. How we do it: A series of 114 primary pharyngeal space neoplasms. Clin Otolaryngol 2005 Aug;30(4):364–367.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.