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Clinical Note |

Cervical Spine Osteomyelitis Presenting as a Pharyngeal Mass

Eric Y. Ro, MD; Sidrah M. Ahmad, BS; Ahmed M. S. Soliman, MD
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(12):1334-1337. doi:10.1001/archotol.134.12.1334.
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Extract

Cervical osteomyelitis is a rare condition that is difficult to diagnose due to its insidious clinical course and vague symptoms. The anatomy of the cervical spine usually prevents the spread of the infectious and inflammatory process anteriorly into the pharyngeal soft tissues. We describe a patient with cervical spine osteomyelitis that presented as an ulcerative lesion of the nasopharynx and oropharynx, mimicking a neoplasm.

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PubMed
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Figure 1.

Sagittal magnetic resonance image with contrast and fat saturation techniques showing a hyperintense lesion (arrow) involving the C2-3 vertebrae and prevertebral soft tissues.

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Figure 2.

Bone scan showing increased uptake (arrow) in the C2-3 vertebral bodies.

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Figure 3.

Sagittal computed tomographic scan of the cervical spine showing concavity of the anterior surface of C2 and sclerosis involving the anterior arch of C1 and anterior bodies of the C2 (arrow) and C3 vertebrae.

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Figure 4.

Photomicrograph of the C3 vertebral body showing necrotic bone with empty lacunae and an abundance of neutrophils consistent with osteomyelitis (hematoxylin-eosin stain, original magnification ×400).

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