Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Evaluation and surgical management of isolated sphenoid sinus disease. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2002 Dec;128(12):1413-9



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0036896071   70 Citations


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the pathologic conditions, preoperative evaluation, treatment, and clinical outcomes associated with sphenoid sinus disease.

DESIGN: Retrospective study.

SETTING: Tertiary university-based referral center.

PATIENTS: All patients with isolated sphenoid sinus disease managed surgically or in which surgery was considered a primary treatment option.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Demographic data, presenting signs and symptoms, endoscopic and imaging findings, surgical management, surgical pathology, and clinical outcomes were investigated in patients presenting with sphenoid sinus disease to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, between January 1, 1991, and December 31, 2001.

RESULTS: The study population included 17 women and 12 men with a mean age of 52.3 years (range, 15-82 years). The most common presenting symptom was headache (20 patients [69%]). Imaging evaluation included computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging studies in all cases. Sphenoid sinus abnormality was variable and included sinusitis (11 patients [38%]), tumor (7 [24%]), mucocele (5 [17%]), fungal process (3 [10%]), and cerebrospinal fluid fistula (3 [10%]). Twenty-one cases (72%) were managed endoscopically and 4 (14%) were managed with a transseptal approach. One patient (3%) underwent combined extracranial-endoscopic transnasal approach, while another (3%) underwent a midface degloving approach. The remaining 2 patients (7%) did not undergo surgical intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the high prevalence of noninflammatory lesions within the sphenoid sinus, thorough preoperative evaluation is imperative. Initially, this should include nasal endoscopy and computed tomography to help define the location, extent, and character of the lesion. In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging may help further define the nature and extent of a lesion. Angiography should be considered if a vascular lesion is suspected. The clinical and imaging findings should all be taken into consideration when the surgical approach is planned.

Author List

Martin TJ, Smith TL, Smith MM, Loehrl TA


Todd A. Loehrl MD Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Michelle A. Michel MD Clinical Professor in the Radiology department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Aged, 80 and over
Middle Aged
Paranasal Sinus Diseases
Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms
Retrospective Studies
Sphenoid Sinus
Sphenoid Sinusitis
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
jenkins-FCD Prod-478 d1509cf07a111124a2d122fd3df854cc0b993c00