Tornwaldt’s Cyst

Chapter 101

Tornwaldt’s Cyst


Tornwaldt cyst (TC) is a benign developmental lesion of the nasopharynx that arises from anomalous embryogenesis of the notochord. The incidence of TC in autopsy series is 4 %. The peak age of incidence is 15 to 30 years of age. There is no reported gender predilection for TC.

Clinical Findings

TCs are usually asymptomatic lesions that are often incidental findings on imaging studies. Occasionally, the internal pressure within the cyst may increase and overcome the relative stenosis at the cyst orifice causing the release of anaerobic secretions into the nasopharynx. As a result, patients may complain of periodic halitosis, foul taste, or persistent nasal discharge. On endoscopic examination, these lesions are usually submucosal and are not tender to palpation. TCs may become infected and subsequently lead to formation of an abscess in the retropharyngeal space.


Dec 27, 2015 | Posted by in HEAD & NECK IMAGING | Comments Off on Tornwaldt’s Cyst
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