Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2020 Jan;63(1):40-44. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2019.00213.

Retropharyngeal Lymph Node Metastasis from Thyroid Papillary Carcinoma with Airway Obstruction

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea


Lymph node metastases of thyroid papillary carcinomas typically occur in the central and lateral neck lymph nodes. Metastasis to the retropharyngeal node is rare for this tumor type, especially when accompanied with airway obstruction. We treated one patient with retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) metastasis of thyroid papillary carcinoma with airway obstruction. The RPLN was successfully resected without complications via transcervical approach. Although the present case is rare, metastasis to the retropharyngeal nodes should be considered at the time of diagnosis and follow-up for thyroid papillary carcinoma. The dissection of thyroid papillary carcinoma metastases to the RPLN should be based on estimated prognosis, complaints, performance status, surgical skill, and complications.


Neck dissection; Papillary carcinoma; Retropharyngeal lymph node; Thyroid cancer
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