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Oncocytic Cysts of the Nasopharynx: A Case Report.

  • Author(s): Hwang, Joshua C
  • Dedhia, Raj D
  • Bernard, Joan E
  • Steele, Toby O
  • et al.


Nasopharyngeal oncocytic lesions are a spectrum of benign lesions that represent a reactive or hyperplastic response to chronic inflammation. Though oncocytic lesions are typically asymptomatic, unilateral, and benign, this article discusses a rare case of large, bilateral oncocytic cysts and downstream otologic sequelae with a focus on identifying and discussing similar disease processes.


Case report and literature review.Case Presentation: A 67-year-old patient with 57 pack year smoking history presented for one year of left sided hearing loss and aural fullness. Clinic endoscopic exam demonstrated severe inflammatory and cystic changes lining the bilateral tori. Imaging and tissue sampling confirmed the cause was minor salivary gland cysts with papillary projections lined by oncocytic cells within bilateral tori tubarius. He was successfully treated with myringotomy with pressure equalizing tube, counseling on tobacco cessation, and surveillance with serial nasopharyngoscopy.


Chronic eustachian tube dysfunction is a possible rare presentation and sequelae of large oncocytic cysts of the nasopharynx. Oncocytic cysts should be considered on the differential diagnosis for nasopharyngeal masses causing such dysfunction.

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