Spontaneous silent sinus syndrome (imploding antrum syndrome): case series of 16 patients

Rhinology. 2011 Aug;49(3):315-7. doi: 10.4193/Rhino10.103.


Introduction: Silent sinus syndrome (SSS) is a rare idiopathic collapse of the maxillary sinus and orbital floor. We present the second largest series of sixteen patients with SSS and describe their management.

Methods: A cohort of 16 patients with spontaneous SSS between 1999 and 2009 were reviewed at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital. All patients were initially referred from a postgraduate ophthalmic hospital, Moorfields Hospital.

Results: Fourteen patients required endoscopic sinus surgery to re-establish maxillary sinus drainage and the remaining two settled with intranasal medical therapy consisting of steroids and decongestions. Follow- up ranged from 6 months to 4 years with a mean of 2.6 years. An improvement in enophthalmos and was seen in all surgically treated patients with a mean improvement of 2.2mm and range 0.5-4mm.

Discussion: SSS arises from congestion of the ostiomeatal complex resulting in negative pressure within the maxillary sinus and a gradual implosion of the antral cavity. Endoscopic sinus surgery successfully re-establishes maxillary aeration in our series and leads to clinical and aesthetic improvement in the degree of enophthalmos and has avoided the need for orbital floor repair in all but two cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Endoscopy*
  • Enophthalmos / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinus*
  • Middle Aged
  • Orbital Diseases / pathology
  • Orbital Diseases / surgery*
  • Paranasal Sinus Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Paranasal Sinus Diseases / surgery*
  • Syndrome
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult