BACKGROUND. Primary sinonasal mucosal melanoma is a rare tumor with a poor survival rate. There is an inherent difficulty in diagnosing these lesions, especially because their complex anatomic locations and symptoms can be frequently confused with other benign or malignant processes. The purpose of our study was to report a difficult case and review the literature and recent research on therapeutic modalities.

MATERIAL AND METHODS. We herein report a 61-year-old female patient, with a history of right eye enucleation and prosthesis, who presented with obstruction of the left nostril, anterior and posterior mucopurulent rhinorrhea, anosmia, left facial numbness, left exophthalmia accompanied by ipsilateral epiphora and decreased visual acuity.

RESULTS. Clinical and imagistic testing revealed a large, grayish, fleshy tumor localized in the left maxillary sinus, with extension to the left orbit (producing osteolysis of the inferior and medial orbital walls), nasopharynx, ethmoidal cells and left frontal sinus. Pathological and immunohistochemical examination confirmed the diagnosis of mucosal melanoma. Other primary sites were excluded. The patient succumbed shortly after, following only palliative treatment.

CONCLUSION. Early diagnosis of primary sinonasal mucosal melanoma is essential but very difficult to detect. Any symptoms such as unilateral epistaxis or nasal obstruction in a patient over the age of 60 should be rendered suspicious. Pathological and immunohistochemical examination for diagnosis and prognostic factors are important. Although surgery is the first option for treatment, one must consider, according to tumor staging, radiotherapy and chemotherapy with immunotherapy as a viable course of treatment for advanced cases.

Zeitrahmen der Veröffentlichung:
4 Hefte pro Jahr
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Medizin, Klinische Medizin, andere, Chirurgie, Hals-Nasen-Ohrenheilkunde, Sprach-, Stimm- und kindliche Hörstörungen, Mund-Kiefer-Gesichtschirurgie