Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma

Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC) is a rare and highly aggressive neoplasm arising in the paranasal sinuses. It has recently been characterised as a distinct pathologic entity.

Tumours tend to be rather advanced at presentation.

Tumours usually tend to be large at presentation, with poorly defined margins. Most arise within the ethmoid sinuses and superior nasal cavity.  Aggressive features such as bone destruction may be seen.

CECT: tumours tend to enhance in varying degrees.

Reported signal characteristics include 4

  • T1: tend to be isointense to muscle
  • T2: iso- to hyperintense on T2-weighted images in five patients
  • T1 (C+) Gd: tend to have heterogeneous enhancement

The prognosis for patients with SNUC is considered poor.  Most centres may opt for varying degrees of craniofacial resection combined with adjuvant radiotherapy +/- chemotherapy.

On imaging, it is almost impossible to differentiate from other tumours in this region with the possible exception of sinonasal mucosal melanoma 4.

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Article information

rID: 33601
System: Head & Neck
Tags: cases, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinomas
  • Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC)
  • SNUC
  • Undifferentied carcinoma of the sinonasal region

Cases and figures

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