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Atypical metastasis of nasopharyngeal cancer: noncontiguous spread to the ipsilateral ear

Published:November 14, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinimag.2020.11.029

      Highlights

      • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) metastasis to the external auditory canal is extremely rare
      • Radiographic imaging of NPC serves a critical role in early detection
      • We report a unique case of NPC to the auditory canal with better outcomes than any previous reports

      Abstract

      Objectives

      Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a rare form of squamous cell carcinoma. Primary NPC is generally treated with radiation and chemotherapy, though recurrence and distant metastases are common. Reports of noncontiguous metastasis to the middle ear and external ear canal (EAC) are rare.

      Materials and methods

      Case presentation of a female patient previously treated for NPC, who developed an EAC metastasis. A literature review of all reported cases of metastatic NPC in the middle ear and EAC is also included.

      Results

      A patient presenting with noncontiguous metastasis of NPC to the EAC was treated with surgical resection followed by chemotherapy and radiation. The patient successfully completed treatment and is currently alive but with suspected distant metastatic disease at 11 months following treatment.

      Conclusions

      NPC metastasis to the EAC is extremely rare. Treatment options are varied, and prognosis is generally poor. The case presented here shows better outcomes than many previous reports.

      Keywords

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