Nasal meningoencephalocele: A retrospective study of clinicopathological features and diagnosis of 16 patients

Li Xue, Dong Gehong, Wu Ying, Tao Jianhua, Zhang Hong, Liu Honggang
Annals of Diagnostic Pathology 2020 August 13, 49: 151594

OBJECTIVE: Nasal meningoencephalocele (encephalocele or cephalocele) is a rare condition with congenital, traumatic, or spontaneous origins. We investigated the clinicopathological characteristics of nasal encephaloceles to improve pathologists' and clinicians' understanding of this disease.

METHODS: Sixteen patients with nasal encephaloceles were enrolled in this retrospective study investigating the condition's clinical and morphological features.

RESULTS: Patients' average age was 37.8 (±20.8) years. The ratio of men to women was 2.2:1, patients' mean age was 47.4 (±11.8) years, and 10/16 patients had spontaneous encephaloceles. All patients with traumatic and spontaneous encephaloceles presented with cerebrospinal fluid leak. In 9/16 patients, the skull defect site occurred on the lateral wall of the sphenoid sinus. Both congenital patients experienced nasal obstruction. Histopathology, herniated tissues were brain and/or meningeal tissue, and the brain tissue was almost mature glial tissue.

CONCLUSION: Nasal meningoencephalocele is a rare condition that can be challenging to diagnose. In patients with recurrent clear nasal discharge or in children with a unilateral nasal mass, a high index of suspicion for encephalocele is essential. In this study, spontaneous cases were most common in adults, and the lateral wall of the sphenoid sinus was the most common location.

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