Metastatic thyroid carcinoma to the parapharyngeal and retropharyngeal spaces: Systematic review with seven newly reported cases describing an uncommon presentation of a common disease

Mykayla L. Sandler, Monica H. Xing, Juliana C. Levy, Raymond L. Chai, Azita S. Khorsandi, Camilo Gonzalez-Velazquez, Mark L. Urken

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Metastatic thyroid carcinoma to retropharyngeal and parapharyngeal (RP/PP) lymph nodes is rare. Literature suggests previous lateral neck dissection (LND) may alter patterns of lymphatic drainage in the neck, predisposing to these less common sites of spread. Methods: PRISMA-guided systematic search for all published cases detailing RP/PP metastases of well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma from 1970 to 2019. Results: Seventy articles were identified and 44 were included, along with seven cases treated at our institution, totaling 239 cases. Cases represented both retropharyngeal (60.7%) and parapharyngeal (39.3%) metastases identified in the initial (27.6%) and recurrent (72.4%) setting. Conclusion: RP/PP metastases generally present in the recurrent setting. RP/PP metastases often represent high-risk disease, and surgical treatment is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1344
Number of pages14
JournalHead and Neck
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • metastasis
  • papillary thyroid cancer
  • parapharyngeal space
  • retropharyngeal space
  • well-differentiated thyroid cancer

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