Maxillary antral carcinoma

Last revised by Francis Deng on 31 Mar 2019

Maxillary antral carcinomas are an uncommon head and neck malignancy. They usually present late despite growing large since they remain confined to the maxillary sinus and produce no symptoms.

Most commonly affects patients over 45 and has a strong male predilection (M:F = 5:1). Maxillary antral carcinomas are more common in Africa and Asia than in Europe or North America 2

When do symptoms occur, they include:

  • unilateral stiffness and obstruction
  • blood-tinged nasal discharge
  • proptosis
  • diplopia
  • pain resembling toothache
  • enlargement and ulceration of the palate

The underlying histology of maxillary antral carcinomas is variable 2:

The exact cause of maxillary antral carcinomas remains unknown, but exposure to wood dust, as well as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, have been implicated in its pathogenesis 2.

It appears as irregular radiopacity within the sinus, eroding the sinus wall.

Treatment consists of surgery followed by radiation therapy. Prognosis is extremely poor, with a 5-year survival of ~10% 1.

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Cases and figures

  •  Case 1
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  • Case 1: recon
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3: squamous cell carcinoma
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