Imaging of pediatric nasal masses: A review

Bruno Cunha, Danila Kuroedov, Carla Conceição

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Several conditions may present as nasal masses in pediatric age, including congenital and developmental disorders, inflammatory and infectious conditions, neoplastic and neoplastic-like lesions, and other miscellaneous disorders. A confident presurgical diagnosis can be challenging and imaging is often key in the management of these lesions. We provide a pictorial review of pediatric nasal masses and discuss a location-based approach to the diagnosis of these lesions on imaging studies. Acquaintance with the most common pathologies and awareness for its characteristic imaging features can aid the physician in the differential diagnosis. Location and extension of the lesion can be particularly helpful. Midline masses raise suspicion for developmental nasal midline lesions, including frontoethmoidal cephalocele, dermoid/epidermoid cyst, and neuroglial heterotopia. In case of trauma, nasal septum hematoma/abscess should be considered. Developmental or odontogenic cystic lesions and osseous neoplasms and neoplasm-like lesions can originate from the maxilla and palate. Although most nasal tumors show overlapping imaging characteristics, some have suggestive features, such as nasopharyngeal angiofibroma and esthesioneuroblastoma. Malignant tumors tend to be locally aggressive, demonstrating invasive features, bony erosion, intermediate signal on T2-weighted images, and restricted diffusion on diffusion-weighted imaging. In certain cases, a definite diagnosis can only be made histologically. Nonetheless, detailed characterization of the lesion is crucial prior to invasive procedures in order to avoid complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230 - 244
JournalJournal Of Neuroimaging
Issue number2
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • head and neck imaging
  • nasal cavity
  • nasal masses
  • neuroradiology
  • otorhinolaryngology
  • pediatric


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