I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2022 Oct 31

J Craniofac Surg

Arrested Pneumatization of the Sphenoid Sinus.


Cho H J, Hahm M H, Kim J S, Heo S J
J Craniofac Surg. 2022 Oct 31.
PMID: 36730881.


The sphenoid bone is a complex structure in terms of its embryological origin. At birth, the sphenoid sinus is nonpneumatized. Arrested pneumatization of the sphenoid sinus is considered a normal anatomic variant but may be mistaken for disease in imaging studies. We report 2 cases of arrested pneumatization of the sphenoid sinus, a normal variant commonly misdiagnosed as a serious disease of the skull base. A 29-year-old man with a complaint of dizziness visited a local clinic for assessment. Computed tomography (CT) of the paranasal sinuses (PNS) showed a noneroding, nonexpansile, and nonhomogenous lesion in the sphenoid bone. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain revealed a high-signal lesion on both T1-weighted and T2-weighted images. Given these typical findings in the CT of PNS and MRI of the brain, the lesion was diagnosed as arrested pneumatization of the sphenoid sinus. In the second case, a 60-year-old woman with a complaint of headache visited a local clinic for assessment. CT of PNS showed a fibro-osseous lesion (with features of sclerosis and osteolysis) in the skull base. Brain MRI revealed a low-signal lesion on a T1-weighted image containing a high-signal intensity around the sphenoid bone, thereby suggesting internal fat contents. A precise interpretation of CT of PNS and brain MRI is essential to distinguish arrested pneumatization of the sphenoid sinus and to help establish a differential diagnosis and avoid needless biopsy.