A case of bilateral silent sinus syndrome presenting with chronic ocular surface disease

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011 Nov-Dec;27(6):e158-60. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e318208356c.


The silent sinus syndrome is characterized by atelectasis of the maxillary sinus in the setting of subclinical maxillary sinusitis and obstruction of the osteomeatal unit. The resultant expansion of orbital volume causes enophthalmos and hypoglobus. A review of the literature reveals only unilateral cases. The authors present a case of bilateral silent sinus syndrome presenting with chronic ocular surface disease. A 56-year-old man was referred for tarsorrhaphy to treat a chronic recurrent corneal ulcer. Exam revealed an area of corneal thinning in the left eye. The patient appeared cachectic and there was enophthalmos, hypoglobus, and lagophthalmos on both sides, left worse than right. Due to the patient's appearance and a history of sinonasal malignancy, recurrent malignancy was suspected. A systemic workup was unrevealing, and radiographic studies showed the features of silent sinus syndrome bilaterally. The patient underwent sinus surgery and placement of a left orbital floor implant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Enophthalmos / diagnostic imaging
  • Enophthalmos / etiology*
  • Enophthalmos / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinus / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxillary Sinus / pathology*
  • Maxillary Sinus / surgery
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / complications*
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed