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Encephalocele Masquerading as Nasal Polyp

Robert E. Jones Jr., M.D.; James L. Bennington, M.D.; Nancy E. Warner, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;181(7):640-642. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050330070019c.
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NASAL TUMORS occasionally contain extracranial cerebral tissue. This neural tissue is usually fibrogliomatous, although several authors have observed neurons as a component.

These lesions almost always occur on the bridge of the nose, as a subcutaneous mass, but occasionally they present inside the nose and, in rare instances, in both sites simultaneously. Such masses of neural tissue have been variously interrireted as neoplasms, cctopias, or more commonly encephaloceles. When this tumor presents in the nose, it may be diagnosed as a nasal polyp, and a surgical attack may lead to meningitis.

Two cases of encephalocele diagnosed and treated as nasal polyps illustrate the complications which may arise and emphasize the need for awareness and proper diagnosis of this entity.

Report of Cases

Case 1. Clinical History—A 45-year-old Negro man had a 6-month history of constant dripping of clear fluid from the left nostril. Previously he had been told at another


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