[Skip to Navigation]
February 1997

Unilateral Sinonasal Disease Without Bone Destruction: Differential Diagnosis Using Diagnostic Imaging and Endonasal Endoscopic Biopsy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(2):198-200. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900020082012

Objective:  To evaluate the diagnostic algorithms leading to minimal-access surgery in unilateral sinonasal disease without evidence of bone destruction.

Design:  In selected patients, we assigned qualitative preoperative diagnoses by performing computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and endonasal endoscopic biopsy and prospectively analyzed the results for 3 years, from 1992 to 1995.

Patients:  Of 278 untreated patients who complained of nasal and sinus-related symptoms and underwent CT examinations, 130 were found to have unilateral sinonasal abnormalities without detectable changes in the bone structure.

Results:  Accurate preoperative diagnoses were made using CT in 75% of the patients with chronic sinusitis with or without nasal polyps and 85% of the patients with mucoceles. In the remaining patients, preoperative diagnoses for both diseases were made using MRI. All fungal and vascular diseases were accurately diagnosed using MRI alone. Although neither CT nor MRI were useful in the qualitative diagnosis of neoplasm, the presence of neoplastic conditions, except papilloma, was indicated by MRI. Using endonasal endoscopy, biopsy was an accurate diagnostic tool, with minimal tissue damage, in 88% of the neoplasms.

Conclusions:  In differentiating untreated unilateral sinonasal disease without evidence of bone destruction, we conclude that CT is the first modality of diagnostic imaging and MRI is more sensitive than CT in identifying fungal disease and angiofibroma. Furthermore, MRI is helpful when neoplasm is indicated, but it is not an accurate diagnostic tool. The endonasal endoscopic approach for obtaining pathologic specimens is a qualitative diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of sinonasal neoplasm.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:198-200