Yonsei Med J.  2010 Sep;51(5):735-739. 10.3349/ymj.2010.51.5.735.

Comparison of Clinical Characteristics between Primary and Secondary Paranasal Mucoceles

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. fess0101@hanmail.net


Paranasal sinus mucocele is a benign, expansile mass which can occur as a result of trauma or spontaneous obstruction of a sinus tract. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare the clinical characteristics of primary mucoceles occurring in patients with no previous sinus surgery history or known cause of mucoceles and secondary mucoceles resulting as a complication following endoscopic sinus surgery or the Caldwell-Luc operation.
We performed a retrospective chart review of 33 cases of primary mucoceles and 60 cases of secondary mucoceles which were diagnosed and surgically corrected between 1996 and 2008.
The most common presenting symptoms in primary mucoceles were nasal obstruction (19.4%) and rhinorrhea (17.7%). In secondary mucoceles, the most common symptoms were cheek pain (31.7%) and nasal obstruction (18.3%). The most common origins of primary mucoceles were the ethmoid sinus (45.5%) and the maxillary sinus (18.2%). In secondary mucoceles, the maxillary sinus was the most common site (86%), followed by the ethmoid sinus (7.1%). All patients with secondary mucoceles had a history of sinus surgery.
The maxillary sinus was the most common site of secondary mucoceles while the ethmoid sinus was the most common origin of primary mucoceles. Cases of secondary mucoceles that occurred following sinus endoscopic surgery developed more frequently in the ethmoid sinus than in those following the Caldwell-Luc procedure, therefore, we suggest that the incidence of maxillary sinus mucoceles in the Asian population would decrease as the rate of endoscopic sinus surgery increases.


Mucocele; sinusitis; endoscopy; paranasal sinus disease; iatrogenic disease
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