Wegener's granulomatosis is a systemic vasculitis that can affect any organ system, but primarily involves the upper and lower respiratory tracts and the kidneys. Chronic sinusitis is a well-known clinical feature of the disease. Mucosal abnormalities of the nose and paranasal sinuses have been well-characterized and range from granulomatous lesions to diffuse mucosal thickening. In contrast, abnormalities of the underlying bone of the paranasal sinuses in this disease have not been well-described, and reports have been limited. To characterize bony abnormalities of the nose and paranasal sinuses in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis, we performed a retrospective review of all patients with Wegener's granulomatosis who underwent a sinus CT scan at our institution between 1989 and 1999. Nine patients were identified. A total of 22 distinct bony abnormalities were identified in 5 patients. Specific bony findings included bony erosion and destruction of the septum and turbinates; erosion of the ethmoid sinuses; neo-osteogenesis of the maxillary, frontal, and sphenoid sinuses; and complete bony obliteration of the maxillary, frontal, and sphenoid sinuses. Although these findings are suggestive of Wegener's granulomatosis, they are not pathognomonic. Bony changes on sinus CT scan may provide radiologic evidence of underlying Wegener's granulomatosis when clinical suspicion is high.
View details for PubMedID 11345151