An unusual presentation of an infected vallecular cyst presenting as supraglottitis
- 1Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
- 2Department of Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, University Hospitals Bristol, Bristol, UK
- Correspondence to Vijay Pattni,
A 50-year-old gentleman presented to the emergency department with a 24 h history of stridor, dysphonia, dysphagia and vomiting. On examination, the patient had fever and tachycardic. There was no palpable cervical lymphadenopathy. Flexible nasendoscopy and lateral neck x-ray revealed soft tissue swelling around the epiglottis. The swelling subsided with conservative management of intravenous antibiotics and steroids, only to later reveal a vallecular cyst, which was confirmed on microlaryngoscopy. The cyst was subsequently deroofed and sent for biopsy. Histological examination revealed an infected, benign vallecular cyst consisting of a squamous epithelium with underlying lymphoid tissue. In adults, vallecular cysts are usually asymptomatic, but can become infected and initiate acute supraglottitis, potentially leading to life-threatening airway obstruction. The case described here, although rare, highlights how early definitive diagnosis and management of vallecular cysts can lead to significantly improved patient outcomes.