Contemporary management of primary parapharyngeal space tumors

Fernando López, Carlos Suárez, Vincent Vander Poorten, Antti Mäkitie, Iain J. Nixon, Primož Strojan, Ehab Y. Hanna, Juan Pablo Rodrigo, Remco de Bree, Miquel Quer, Robert P. Takes, Carol R. Bradford, Ashok R. Shaha, Alvaro Sanabria, Alessandra Rinaldo, Alfio Ferlito

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The parapharyngeal space is a complex anatomical area. Primary parapharyngeal tumors are rare tumors and 80% of them are benign. A variety of tumor types can develop in this location; most common are salivary gland neoplasm and neurogenic tumors. The management of these tumors has improved greatly owing to the developments in imaging techniques, surgery, and radiotherapy. Most tumors can be removed with a low rate of complications and recurrence. The transcervical approach is the most frequently used. In some cases, minimally invasive approaches may be used alone or in combination with a limited transcervical route, allowing large tumors to be removed by reducing morbidity of expanded approaches. An adequate knowledge of the anatomy and a careful surgical plan is essential to tailor management according to the patient and the tumor. The purpose of the present review was to update current aspects of knowledge related to this more challenging area of tumor occurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-535
Number of pages14
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • paraganglioma
  • parapharyngeal tumors
  • pleomorphic adenoma
  • schwannoma
  • transcervical approach

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