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J Korean Soc Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Jul;37(4):477-480. Korean. Case Report.
Choi EC , Kim JH , Shin HS , Lee JH , Lee YM .
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, Korea.
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, Korea.

PURPOSE: Ganglioneuromas are well-differentiated tumors derived from neuroectodermal neural crest cells. Although these tumors can occur anywhere along the sympathetic chain from the base of the skull to the pelvic cavity, they usually develop in the posterior mediastinum and retroperitoneum these tumors are rarely found in the cervical region. METHODS: We report the case of a 16-year-old male patient with neurofibromatosis type 1 who was admitted because of a palpable mass centrally located on the left side of the neck. A preoperative contrast-enhanced neck computed tomography image showed a low-density homogeneous mass on the parapharyngeal space along with marked displacement of the trachea and carotid vessels. Round and soft masses were also detected on both axillae. RESULTS: The patient subsequently underwent complete excision of the neck mass via the transcervical approach. The mass was smooth and well encapsulated between the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the trachea. Further, the mass appeared to arise from the cervical sympathetic chain, which was preserved during surgery. Both the axillary masses were also excised. The histopathological findings were ganglioneuroma for the neck mass and neurofibroma for both the axillary masses. CONCLUSION: Cervical ganglioneuromas are rare tumors that present as enlarging parapharyngeal cervical masses in the oropharynx or neck. To our knowledge, a case of cervical ganglioneuroma associated with neurofibromatosis type 1 has never been reported. In patients with neurofibromatosis, multiple tumors may develop, and therefore periodic clinical and radiological follow-up is recommended. Further, repeated imaging analysis should be performed if the presence of another tumor is suspected.

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