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Tornwaldt's disease

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Also known as Tornwaldt's bursitis, Tornwalditis, Tornwaldt's cyst, Tornwaldt's syndrome. Synonyms: angine de Tornwaldt (French), chronic nasopharyngitis syndrome, nasopharyngeal bursitis, pharyngeal bursitis.

A chronic inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsil. Symptomatically, this syndrome is characterized by occipital headache, formation of pus-containing cysts and nasopharygeal stenosis. Other features include stiffness of the posterior cervical muscles, exacerbation of pain with movement of the head, sore throat, persistent low-grade fever, and halitosis.

The condition was first described by Hermann Friedrich Wendt (1838-1875) in 1874.


  • H. F. Wendt:
    Rareficirender, trockner Katarrh der Nasenrachenhöhle und des Rachens (Atrophie).
    In Hugo Wilhelm von Ziemssen (1829-1902), Handbuch der Speciellen Pathologie, Leipzig, 1874, 7.1: 313-316.
  • G. L. Thornwaldt:
    Über die Bedeutung der Bursa pharyngea für die Erkennung und Behandlung gewisser Nasenrachenraum-Krankheiten. Wiesbaden, J. F. Bergmann, 1885.
  • A. R. Hollender, P. B. Szanto:
    Thornwaldt's syndrome.
    Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, St. Louis, 1945, 54: 575-581.

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