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Ear Nose Throat J. 2006 Sep;85(9):606-8.

The 'sentinel clot' sign in spontaneous retropharyngeal hematoma secondary to parathyroid apoplexy.

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Department of Radiology, The Alfred Hospital, Victoria, Australia.


Spontaneous retropharyngeal hemorrhage from a cervical parathyroid adenoma is a rare complication of primary hyperparathyroidism. Because of its rarity, it has seldom been documented in the radiologic or ENT literature. Patients may present with a variety of manifestations, ranging from dysphagia to dysphonia to life-threatening dyspnea or hemorrhage. Awareness of a possible thyroid or parathyroid etiology may expedite treatment and prevent unnecessary interventions. We present a case of spontaneous retropharyngeal hemorrhage in which the "sentinel clot" sign enabled us to identify the lesion of origin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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