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Unusual presentation of an asymptomatic pseudomeningocele within the sphenoid sinus

  • K J McNamara (a1), R P Exley (a1), S Khwaja (a2) and R K Bhalla (a3)



We report the rare case of a 55-year-old woman with an asymptomatic left sphenoid sinus pseudomeningocele mimicking a mucocele.

Case report:

A 55-year-old woman was found to have an incidental mass in the left sphenoid sinus on computed tomography. Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the presence of a mucocele. A left endoscopic sphenoidotomy was performed to drain the mucocele. Despite an anatomical puncture through a stenosed sphenoid ostium, alarmingly, the opening leaked cerebrospinal fluid. A dehiscent lateral wall was identified with a dural opening communicating with the sphenoid sinus. This was immediately repaired with a free nasal septal mucosal graft. Six months post-operatively, the patient remained free from cerebrospinal fluid leakage.


Pseudomeningoceles are extremely rare in the absence of trauma or iatrogenic injury. Surgeons should be alert to their presence as they can mimic a unilateral mucocele or nasal polyp. Endoscopic management lends itself to a single-stage repair.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr R K Bhalla, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL, UK Fax: +44 (0)161 276 5003 E-mail:


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