Nasal actinomycosis mimicking a foreign body

July 21, 2013
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Nasal actinomycosis is a rare disease. We present a case of nasal actinomycosis causing symptoms similar to those of a nasal foreign body. A 34-year-old woman presented with a long history of halitosis and unilateral offensive, purulent rhinorrhea. Rigid nasendoscopy showed a hard, dark gray mass between the middle and inferior turbinates. Computed tomography findings were typical of a nasal foreign body. Endoscopic removal of the mass was performed, and histopathology established a diagnosis of actinomycosis. We suggest that every clinician confronted with unilateral nasal symptoms and/or signs should have this clinical entity in mind, since it has justifiably been characterized as the head and neck “mimic.”

Case report

A 34-year-old woman attended the Ear Nose and Throat Outpatient Clinic complaining of unilateral nasal obstruction, halitosis, unilateral offensive rhinorrhea, and postnasal discharge of 1 year's duration. Her medical and family histories were unremarkable. On palpation, her cheek was tender but not swollen, and there was no cervical lymphadenopathy. Results of routine laboratory tests were within normal ranges.

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