Nasopharyngeal amyloidosis

Alpen Patel, Stefan Pambuccian, Robert H Maisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Purpose: To discuss the presentation of localized amyloidosis affecting the nasopharynx and discuss the management options. Amyloidosis in the head and neck is a rare and benign condition that usually takes the form of localized amyloidosis. Because systemic amyloidosis markedly shortens life expectancy owing to its involvement with vital organs, rectal biopsy or fat aspiration of the anterior abdominal wall must be carried out to exclude systemic involvement. Localized amyloidosis in the head and neck can involve the orbit, sinuses, nasopharynx, oral cavity, salivary glands, and larynx. Methods: We present the case of a patient with conductive hearing loss and serous otitis media with effusion secondary to nasopharyngeal amyloidosis, as well as present a review of the literature. Results: Only a few cases of nasopharyngeal amyloidosis have thus far been reported. Patients with this disease can also present with recurrent epistaxis, postnasal drip, nasal obstruction, and eustachian tube dysfunction. Localized amyloidosis of the nasopharynx, which is slow growing, has proved difficult to treat because it can persist or recur despite surgical treatment. Furthermore, bleeding may be a major complication in treating patients with nasopharyngeal amyloidosis by transpalatal excision because the amyloid deposits cause vascular wall fragility. Finally, there is no evidence that surgical treatment of nasopharyngeal amyloidosis can prolong survival or that localized amyloidosis can progress to systemic amyloidosis. For these reasons, we elected to treat our patient with a tympanostomy tube and observation. Conclusion: In the absence of systemic disease, localized amyloidosis of the nasopharynx may be treated conservatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-311
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


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