Nasopharyngeal cancer mimicking otitic barotrauma in a resource-challenged center: a case report
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine and University College Hospital, PMB 5116, Queen Elizabeth Road, Ibadan, Oyo-State, Nigeria
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2011, 5:532 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-5-532Published: 31 October 2011
Nasopharyngeal cancer commonly manifests with cervical lymphadenopathy, recurrent epistaxis and progressive nasal obstruction. Neuro-ophthalmic and otologic manifestations can also occur. Isolated otologic presentations of nasopharyngeal cancer are rare and the diagnosis of nasopharyngeal cancer may not be foremost in the list of differentials.
We present the case of a 29-year-old Nigerian woman with bilateral conductive hearing loss and tinnitus after air travel. There were no other symptoms. The persistence of the symptoms after adequate treatment for otitic barotrauma necessitated re-evaluation, which led to a diagnosis of nasopharyngeal cancer.
Isolated otologic manifestations of nasopharyngeal cancer are rare in regions with low incidence of the disease. There is a need for it to be considered as a possible differential in patients presenting with bilateral serous otitis media.