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Nasal actinomycosis mimicking a foreign body

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July 22, 2013
by Dimitrios Batzakakis, MD; Petros D. Karkos, AFRCS, MPhil, PhD; Sotirios Papouliakos, MD; Samuel C. Leong, MRCS, DO-HNS; Ioannis Bardanis, MD


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.”

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