JOURNAL ARTICLE

Endoscopic diagnosis of sarcoidosis in a patient presenting with bilateral exophthalmos and pansinusitis

E J Damrose, R Y Huang, E Abemayor
American Journal of Rhinology 2000, 14 (4): 241-4
10979497
Sarcoidosis is a chronic granulomatous disease of unknown etiology. Otolaryngologic and ophthalmologic manifestations occur in 15 to 55% of afflicted individuals, respectively. Neck masses, parotid enlargement, and facial nerve palsy are the most common presenting otolaryngologic complaints, while lacrimal gland enlargement, uveitis, and upper eyelid masses often call the attention of the ophthalmologist. Biopsy reveals non-caseating granulomas, while the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) level may be elevated. We report an unusual case of a patient who presented with severe bilateral exophthalmos as the sole initial complaint. A prior workup included a negative conjunctival biopsy. On magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), the patient had pansinusitis. Endoscopic ethmoidectomies with tissue analysis revealed sarcoidosis. Further evaluation revealed no evidence of systemic disease, and all symptoms resolved with a course of oral steroids. Thus, nasal endoscopy and biopsy of affected paranasal sinus mucosa may prove a useful adjunct to the diagnosis of sarcoidosis, particularly in atypical cases.

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