Saddle-nose deformities in the rheumatology clinic

May 7, 2014
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Abstract

Saddle-nose deformity can occur as a result of trauma to the nose, but it has also been well described in the setting of infections such as leprosy and syphilis and idiopathic inflammatory conditions such as granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener granulomatosis) and relapsing polychondritis. Since these deformities may also arise without an evident precipitating cause, they can pose a diagnostic conundrum. We review 2 cases of saddle-nose deformity that were treated at Northwick Park Hospital in Middlesex, England. The first patient was a 53-year-old woman who presented with epistaxis and deviation of the nasal septum. She subsequently developed a saddle-nose deformity and a septal ulcer. An autoimmune screen was negative, and histologic findings were nonspecific. She underwent successful reconstruction with a polyethylene implant. The second patient was a 21-year-old woman who presented with nasal obstruction and a nasal septal deviation. Two years later, she was diagnosed with Crohn disease and treatment with azathioprine was commenced. Eventually, the cartilaginous dorsum of her nose collapsed. A biopsy of the area revealed nonspecific, active, chronic inflammation. A polyethylene implant was placed to correct the deformity, but part of the implant became dislodged, and revision surgery was not successful. A subsequent revision was performed, and the early results were encouraging. Saddle-nose deformity may be a manifestation of underlying connective tissue disease, so it is important to detect and treat any such condition before embarking on surgical repair of the deformity. Our 2 cases indicate that this very deforming condition is poorly understood and treatment can be unsatisfactory.

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