The Treatment of Lymphoid Hyperplasia of Nasopharynx by Radium

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Many patients have developed excessive hyperplasia of lymphoid tissue in the pharynx and nasopharynx, predisposing them to frequent colds, deafness, otitis media, chronic nasal congestion, and postnasal discharge. Why this hyperplasia occurs in some persons and not in others is not clearly understood. The condition is usually seen in patients who have had repeated attacks of upper respiratory infections and their complications.

Surgical removal of tonsils and adenoids has been an accepted form of treatment for many years and of unquestionable value in properly selected cases. However, in many of these cases the hyperplasia has continued to develop postoperatively. Repeated attempts at surgical removal of lymphoid tissue have often been hazardous to the patient, as too extensive removal of lymphoid tissue can result in scar tissue formation, and damage to the eustachian tube orifice may result in permanent closure.

The most rational approach to the treatment of lymphoid hyperplasia in the nasopharynx has been advocated by Dr. S. J. Crowe of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The main problem is to remove the hyperplastic lymphoid tissue, which is often diffusely spread throughout the entire nasopharynx and postnares or localized in the fossa of Rosenmüller or eustachian tube orifice. These regions are inaccessible for surgical removal. As lymphocytes are very radiosensitive, a small dosage of gamma and beta rays is sufficient to inhibit mitosis in the germinal centers and thus stop the formation of new lymphocytes. The dose is small, therefore there is no danger of damage to the nasopharyngeal mucous membrane. Crowe’s. . .



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