Vision loss caused by immunoglobulin G4-related disease of the skull base complicated by a mucocele of the sphenoid sinus

Sanne E Detiger, Dion Paridaens, Robert M Verdijk, Jan A M van Laar, Ruben Dammers, Dominiek A Monserez, A Paul Nagtegaal

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a fibro-inflammatory disorder and manifestation in de paranasal and sphenoid sinus is well recognized. In this patient, IgG4-RD presented in an unusual manner with vision loss due to mucocele formation in the sphenoid sinus.

CASE DESCRIPTION: A 19-year-old man, with an unremarkable medical history, was referred with decreased vision in the left eye, headaches, and a sharp pain in the left orbit and ear. Compression of the left optic nerve due to a large mucocele caused papillary edema and emergency endoscopic marsupialization of the mucocele was performed. When the vision decreased again, a more extensive decompressing sphenoidotomy was performed. Histopathology showed IgG4-RD. Despite dexamethasone, the lesion expanded to the anterior skull base and the patient required repeat endoscopic surgery. After 3 months, a decrease in smell and vision warranted for a fourth extensive endoscopic decompressing surgery, complicated by a cerebrospinal fluid leak. Prednisone and later rituximab were commenced. Unfortunately, the patient reported a complete loss of vision after 4 months of rituximab due to increased mass effect on the optic nerve. An extensive combined craniofacial-endoscopic surgery was performed to remove the entire mucocele and to prevent further contralateral and intracranial progression. Methylprednisolone monthly was commenced to prevent further complications.

DISCUSSION: This case illustrates that in therapy-resistant sino-orbital IgG4-RD, extensive surgery might be necessary at an earlier stage. It may even be the only option to prevent irreversible damage to the surrounding tissues. A multidisciplinary approach in the management of sino-orbital IgG4-RD is therefore warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216-1220
Number of pages5
JournalInternational forum of allergy & rhinology
Issue number9
Early online date16 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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