Infectious and neoplastic diseases of the sphenoid sinus - A report of 10 cases

Zan Mra, Jeffrey C. Roach, Allan L. Brook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Sphenoid opacifications may be discovered during the radiological work up of patients presenting with fever, headache, or neurological changes. While most of these patients do not require surgical intervention, prompt assessment and management is nevertheless required. Ten patients who underwent sphenoidotomy for drainage or biopsy at Montefiore Hospital during a 4-year period from September 1995 through January 2000 are presented. Nine out of 10 patients had predisposing factors such as AIDS, diabetes, leukemia, and end-stage renal disease. The most common presentation was altered mental status. One patient rapidly developed cavernous sinus thrombosis. Microbiology of sphenoid cultures included various fungi, Mycobacterium avium intracellulare, coagulase negative Staphylococci, and Corynebacterium. Neoplastic processes included non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma. When evaluating hospitalized patients with sphenoid sinus disease, a thorough history and a bedside nasal endoscopy should be performed. Conservative management in the form of intravenous antibiotics and topical decongestion should always be the first line of treatment. Those patients with clinical or radiological evidence of disease extending beyond the confines of the sphenoid sinus require immediate surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Infection
  • Neoplasm
  • Paranasal sinus
  • Sphenoid
  • Sphenoidotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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