Thornwaldt Cyst Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Cancer, Treatment

Nasopharyngeal cyst and tornwaldt cyst are the two other named of thornwaldt cyst. This cyst is located in the upper posterior nasopharyngeal region. It is benign in nature. This benign cyst can be seen with magnetic resonance imaging MRI and computed tomography scan CT scan of head. It can be seen as a round mass present in midline of head. This cyst was named after a scientist named Gustav ludwig tornwaldt. Treatment is not necessary in most of the cases. Usually it is diagnosed incidentally during flexible fiberoptic endoscopy. It is asymptomatic in nature and infected fluid may extrude from it.

Thornwaldt Cyst Symptoms


The common symptoms associated with thornwaldt cyst include headache in the occipital region of brain (most common symptom), effusion in middle ear, cervical myalgia and halitosis. Symptoms also depends upon the severity and size of the cyst. When the thornwaldt cyst is infected and become large in size, patient may complain about nasal obstruction, post natal discharge along with bad breathe in mouth, patient's body may produce foul smelling odour and headache. Eustachian tube may get obstructed and this is defined in a term otalgia. Other than this, there may be secretary otitis media.

Thornwaldt Cyst Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Cancer, Treatment

Thornwaldt Cyst Causes


Thornwaldt cyst show the non specific symptoms which make it difficult to diagnose. The main cause being its occurrence may be the congenital one. Congenital remnant of the notocord and pharyngeal ectoderm in the upper posterior nasopharynx is counted as the main cause behind it. The tissue residues which combines to form a pouch or bursa is responsible for the formation of cyst. The superior constrictor muscle of the pharynx is involved on which the thornwaldt cyst form. The mucous membrane of nasopharynx covers it all over. It is an uncommon cyst which has a occurrence rate of 0.2 to 4 percent.

Thornwaldt Cyst Cancer


Thornwaldt cyst is benign in nature but it can be converted in to a malignant one if the cyst become infected. The infected cyst start secreting infected fluid from it. When this fluid get in touch with other parts of brain, it makes them effected. This is how it converted in to malignant thornwaldt cyst from benign one. The malignant thornwaldt cyst may prove fatal for patient because of the most sensitive region involvement in this cyst. Due to its malignancy, the symptoms become worse and vary from common symptoms of benign cyst.

Thornwaldt Cyst Treatment


Talking about the treatment of thornwaldt, the treatment is not necessary. As it is asymptomatic, which makes the treatment un necessary. In case the benign thornwaldt cyst turns in to a malignant one, then an endoscopy naked trans nasal endoscopy marsupialization. In this endoscopy, the infected drainage of malignant cyst along with enlarged cysts can be drained easily out of the brain. This is the only treatment for this cyst. Usually headache is counted as a common symptom and pain killers are administered to relief such symptoms. If the malignant thornwaldt cyst is left untreated, then it may prove fatal for patient.

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