Tumor Spread from Oropharyngeal Visceral Space

Chapter 145

Tumor Spread from Oropharyngeal Visceral Space


In contrast to the rarity of primary tumors in the parapharyngeal space, secondary malignant infiltration of the parapharyngeal space is frequently encountered. Oropharyngeal carcinomas commonly extend into the parapharyngeal space, and some tumors may extend into the masticator space. Traditionally, oropharyngeal carcinomas are seen in men > 60 years of age. However, there are now more patients presenting in their third through fifth decade. In addition, more females are affected given their increasing use of tobacco and alcohol.


Most oropharyngeal tumors arise in the tonsils. Other sites include the anterior tonsillar pillar and the soft palate. Although the retromolar trigone is anatomically located in the oral cavity, retromolar trigone malignancies behave like oropharyngeal carcinoma. The vast majority of these lesions are squamous cell carcinomas but adenocystic carcinoma and lymphomas may also be encountered.

Clinical Findings

There are no specific signs and symptoms that suggest invasion of the parapharyngeal space. The involvement of the parapharyngeal space is readily diagnosed radiologically during tumor mapping and staging.


Dec 27, 2015 | Posted by in HEAD & NECK IMAGING | Comments Off on Tumor Spread from Oropharyngeal Visceral Space
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