Atypical Presentation of Silent Sinus Syndrome: A Case Report and Literature Review

Nanki Hura, Omar G Ahmed, Nicholas R Rowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Silent sinus syndrome (SSS) is a condition characterized by ophthalmologic features, such as spontaneous enophthalmos and hypoglobus with ipsilateral maxillary sinus atelectasis and an otherwise asymptomatic presentation. SSS has been documented secondary to a number of external causes, including trauma or surgery, but has less commonly been described in the setting of a potential mass in the deep masticator space.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 56-year-old woman with a history of chronic headaches with normal prior sinonasal imaging presented with increasing right-sided facial pain and headaches that radiated to her occiput, subjective visual changes, sharp ear pain, and long-standing subjective diminished sense of smell. Physical examination was normal, while nasal endoscopy demonstrated lateral bowing of the medial maxillary wall on the right. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a homogenous 2 × 2 × 2.4 cm T1- and T2-weighted, hyperintense mass lesion in the deep masticator space splaying the right medial and lateral pterygoid muscles concerning for a possible lipomatous lesion. Computed tomography revealed an atelectatic and opacified maxillary sinus with inward bowing of the posterior maxillary wall and increased orbital volume on that side. Endoscopic maxillary antrostomy was performed with biopsy of the retromaxillary space lesion and with near immediate resolution of the patient's symptoms. Histologic examination of the mass demonstrated mature adipose tissue with few aggregates of benign small vessels.

DISCUSSION: This is an unusual presentation of SSS, with an accompanying enlargement of the retromaxillary fat pad. We herein review our clinical experience with SSS and provide a literature review of the presentation, management, and perioperative considerations for SSS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2152656719899928
JournalAllergy & rhinology (Providence, R.I.)
StatePublished - Jan 28 2020


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