May 6, 2010

Sphenoid Sinus Mucocele

Fig. 1: Axial unenhanced CT image shows opacification of the left sphenoid sinus due to a mass (arrow) causing slight expansion of the sinus. Some parts of the sinus wall are thin and some are thick.
Fig. 2: Coronal T2W GRE MR image show the mass to be very hyperintense. There was no contrast enhancement (image not shown).

Facts: Mucocele of Paranasal Sinus
  • Most common expansile lesions of the paranasal sinuses
  • Most common location = frontal, ethmoid
  • Chronic, cystic lesion of the paranasal sinuses, lined by respiratory epithelium
  • Results of obstruction of sinus ostium, causing accumulation of secretions into an expanding mass
  • Contents are sterile. If it becomes infected, it is called mucopyocele
  • Can be seen in any age group, commonly relapsed
Imaging Findings
  • Complete sinus opacification
  • Bone remodeling, expansion and thinning/thickening of the wall
  • On fluid-sensitive MR sequence, it is very bright
  • Differential diagnosis: mucus retention cyst (usually not filled the whole sinus and no expansion), polyp (common in nasal cavity)

Rollers CA. Mucocele of the paranasal sinuses. Available at URL:

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