Sphenoid sinus mucocele (anterior clinoid variant) mimicking diabetic ophthalmoplegia and retrobulbar neuritis

Am J Ophthalmol. 1986 Jul 15;102(1):111-5. doi: 10.1016/0002-9394(86)90219-9.


Two patients (two men, 56 and 59 years old) had sphenoid sinus mucocele originating in the anterior clinoid process. In one case the mucocele initially mimicked diabetic ophthalmoplegia with pupil-sparing palsy of the oculomotor (third) nerve. After resolution of the palsy, severe visual loss developed with minimal recovery of vision after surgery. The second patient had recurrent episodes of retrobulbar optic neuropathy with optic atrophy and decreased vision. Visual loss from sphenoid sinus mucoceles is usually associated with a poor prognosis if surgical treatment is delayed more than seven to ten days.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucocele / diagnosis*
  • Ophthalmoplegia / diagnosis*
  • Ophthalmoplegia / etiology
  • Optic Neuritis / diagnosis*
  • Paranasal Sinus Diseases / diagnosis
  • Sphenoid Sinus*