Cavernous sinus tumor (cancer)

Head | Oncology | Cavernous sinus tumor (cancer) (Disease)


The cavernous sinus or lateral seller compartment is a large collection of thin-walled veins creating a cavity bordered by the temporal bone of the skull and the sphenoid bone, lateral to the sella turcica.

There are three common types of tumors that affect this area, including meningiomas, carcinoma, and metastases. Cavernous sinus syndrome has the following signs and symptoms: ophthalmoplegia, chemosis, proptosis, Horner syndrome, or trigeminal sensory loss. Infectious or noninfectious inflammatory, vascular, traumatic, and neoplastic processes are the principal causes.

The symptoms of a cavernous sinus tumor depend widely on the size and precise location of the tumor. The most common symptom of a cavernous sinus tumor is double vision; however others symptoms such as periodic drowsiness, difficulty breathing, increased intercranial pressure, or a weak pulse are present. Headaches and double vision can ocurre when the tumor presses against the skull. Dizziness and slurred speech, seizures, one-sided paralysis and coma can also exist. In some cases, cavernous sinus tumors cause an increase in pressure in the brain and can lead to an aneurysm, which can cause serious problems.

Causes and Risk factors

Cavernous sinus tumors can be benign or malignant and are a common cause of cavernous sinus syndrome.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is based on Computer Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan and biopsy of the tissue.

One of the most common treatments of a cavernous sinus tumor is a partial or full resection, or removal of the tumor among with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. ...

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