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Rhinosporidiosis: An unusual presentation

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July 14, 2014
by Borlingegowda Viswanatha, MS, DLO, PhD


Rhinosporidiosis is a chronic granulomatous disease that primarily affects the mucous membranes of the nose and nasopharynx. It is caused by Rhinosporidium seeberi. Clinically it presents as a reddish, bleeding, polypoid mass with a characteristic strawberry-like appearance on its surface, which is caused by the presence of mature sporangia. In the case described here, a 35-year-old man presented with a 6-month history of a slowly growing polypoid mass in his left nasal cavity. The surface of the mass was smooth, pale, and covered with nasal mucosa. It was attached to the nasal septum. Fine-needle aspiration cytology was suggestive of a parasitic cyst. The mass was excised with the use of local anesthesia. Histopathologic examination of the resected specimen revealed rhinosporidiosis. Prior to this diagnosis, the patient had not exhibited most of the typical clinical features that are suggestive of rhinosporidiosis. In the case of a nasal mass, a diagnosis of rhinosporidiosis is important to establish prior to any surgery because bleeding during and after surgery is usually profuse and can be life-threatening. The site of the excised mass should be cauterized to prevent recurrence.

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