A clinicopathological study of the lesions of paranasal sinuses causing proptosis


  • Vineeth Abraham Anchery Department of ENT, DM Wayanad Institute of Medical Sciences, Kerala, India
  • Viswanathan Kavathur Department of ENT, DM Wayanad Institute of Medical Sciences, Kerala, India




Headache, Paranasal sinus, Proptosis, Squamous cell carcinoma


Background: The orbit and its contents lie in close proximity to the paranasal sinuses. The aim of the study was to analyse the lesions of paranasal sinuses causing proptosis.

Methods: All patients with proptosis secondary to paranasal sinus disease were taken up for a systematic otolaryngological and ophthalmological clinical evaluation and investigation using a standard proforma. Incidence of various disease of paranasal sinuses causing proptosis, age and sex distribution, incidence of different symptoms and signs and its association with proptosis were estimated. The reversible and irreversible nature of the proptosis in relation to the degree of proptosis and the histopathological nature of the disease were studied.  

Results: Malignant diseases were found to be the commonest lesion that caused proptosis. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common histopathological type. Invasive fungal sinusitis among inflammatory and inverted papilloma among benign tumours were the commonest lesions that cause proptosis. Male preponderance was seen in the inflammatory and malignant lesions and the commonest symptoms were headache and nasal obstruction. Malignancies caused faster proptosis than benign and inflammatory lesions. Analysis of X-ray and computed tomography (CT) findings were also done.

Conclusions: Malignant lesions are the most common para nasal sinus disease that cause proptosis. Duration of illness and degree of proptosis varied with the underlying disease process. With inflammatory proptosis some underlying sinus pathology in addition to the sinusitis is found in all cases. CT is a better modality to identify underlying pathology.


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