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Merkel Cell Carcinoma of the Sinonasal Mucosa: Case Report

By: Anna Nowogrodzki
Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A 74-year-old woman was diagnosed with an unusual presentation of Merkel cell carcinoma originating in the sinonasal mucosa that metastasized to the thyroid, according to a case report published in Head and Neck Pathology. According to Abberly Lott Limbach, MD, and Jesse Sheldon, DO, both of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, “consideration of Merkel cell carcinoma in extracutaneous sites is important, and an appropriate immunohistochemical workup is needed along with Merkel cell polyomavirus testing.”

The patient presented with an enlarging neck mass causing tracheal deviation, 2 months of progressive dysphagia, synchronous sinusitis, and facial pain that was not ameliorated by oral antibiotics. Further analysis revealed a high-grade neuroendocrine tumor in her left thyroid and a soft-tissue mass in her right nasal cavity and maxillary sinus, which was also diagnosed as a high-grade neuroendocrine tumor. The sinonasal biopsy was positive for Merkel cell polyomavirus. The authors found no suspicious lesions on the patient’s skin and no lymph node metastases.

The patient received chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy. However, she died of complications of the carcinoma 4 months after diagnosis.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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