Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 18 Sep 2022

Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC) is a rare sub type of sinonasal carcinoma. It is considered a highly aggressive neoplasm arising in the paranasal sinuses. It has recently been characterized as a distinct pathologic entity.

These tumors tend to be rather advanced at presentation.

Tumors 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: tumors 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 centers may opt for varying degrees of craniofacial resection combined with adjuvant radiotherapy +/- chemotherapy.

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

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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  • Case 2
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