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What is Ethmoid Sinus Mass ?

I am a MRI tech in a small hosp. I was setting up protocols for our newest scanner. My husband agreed to be be a volunteer to help out. I did a MRI brain without contrast on him. I accidentally discovered a large mass aprox 2 cm in his Ethmoid Sinus . This mass has jagged edges. It is not fluid although there may be some fluid around the mass. The mass is has a low signal intensity on both T1 and T2 images. It is not round like a polyp and appears to be soft tissue unlike a mucocele. It is approaching the optic nerve as well. I do have a picture of it on my phone and will upload it if needed. Hx of my husband is... 40 yr old, white male, heavy smoker (2 pack a day minimum for 25 yrs) Recently came back from Iraq where he spent 7 yrs working as a contractor. He talked alot about breathing in fumes from the burn pits near living quarters. These are used to burn anything and everything including tires, batteries, body parts, etc really anything would go in there and it put off a pretty toxic cloud. He has recently lost 20 lbs inside of a few months. He has a large family hx of cancer . His father died of lung CA at 55, Sister died of ovarian at 42, brother died of colon CA at age 54. Also many cousins and so on. He c/o pressure in his sinus and right eye visual disturbances. He went to a ENT doctor who did a scope however the scope did not reach as far as the ethmoid. He is scheduled to have a non contrast cat scan although he keeps canceling the appointment. I am absolutely beside myself with worry. I need to know if anyone else has faced an unidentified mass in the paranasal sinuses and what it turned out to be. Thank you so much.
Asked On : Tue, 11 Jan 2011
Answers:  2 Views:  1147
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  User's Response
Since he has a unilateral (one sided) irregular ethmoid mass, he should undergo a CT PNS with contrast, even if there are few symptoms at present. Low intensity on T1 ans T2 probably signifies a solid / fibrotic mass. It may be benign sinonasal polyposis or fungal disease. A small lesion, even if it turns out to be a tumor, such as an inverted papilloma, carcinoma or sarcoma, can be treated effectively. CT will show the condition of the surrounding bone, which is not visible on MRI. The posterior ethmoid sinus cells are closely related to the optic nerve. You may upload the MRI, planned CT images including the one on your phone onto a free file sharing site such as and submit a link here.
Answered: Tue, 11 Jan 2011
ENT Specialist Dr. Sonia. S. V's  Response
Hi, I am Dr Sonia S V. I am an ENT Surgeon & Head & Neck Specialist. If he is scheduled for a CT scan a contrast enhanced CT scan of the PNS will give better information that a plain CT scan. A reputed ENT Surgeon in your area should be able to guide you.

All the best
Dr Sonia Suprabha Venugopal
Consultant ENT Head & Neck Surgery,Bangalore
Answered: Wed, 12 Jan 2011
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