A rare case of large retropharyngeal pre-vertebral chordoma presented as oropharyngeal swelling


  • Yahya A. Fageeh Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Taif University, Taif, KSA




Spinal chordoma, Notochordal remnant, Oropharyngeal mass, Radiological evaluation, Dysphagia


Posterior oropharyngeal swelling can result from various pathologies, including chordomas. Chordoma is a notochordal remnant origin tumor. It is a rare bone and central nervous system tumor, especially in the cervical region. Chordoma is a tumor with properties such as slowly growing and frequently recur in most patients. This case report aims to comprehensively understand the clinical presentation and radiological features of a rare C2 retropharyngeal pre-vertebral chordoma. A 24-year-old male with a two-year history of dysphagia presented with progressively worsening symptoms, including dyspnea, dysphonia, and weight loss. On examination, a large mass was observed in the posterior oropharynx. Radiologically, a large soft tissue mass involves the C2 vertebral body, extending into the pre-vertebral soft tissue and compromising the airway. The mass appears hypointense in T1 weighted images, heterogeneously hyperintense in T2, and shows heterogeneous contrast enhancement. The chordoma was confirmed through histopathological analysis, showing characteristic physaliferous cells within a myxoid stroma. Posterior oropharyngeal masses require prompt and accurate evaluation. Radiological evaluation is crucial in identifying the tumor's origin, extent, and vascularity, aiding in diagnosis and treatment planning. Surgical resection is the primary treatment, but chordomas have a high recurrence rate even after complete removal. Radiotherapy can improve survival and reduce recurrence. This case highlights the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration in providing individualized care for rare chordoma presentations.


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