Angiofibroma. Changes in staging and treatment

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996 Feb;122(2):122-9. doi: 10.1001/archotol.1996.01890140012004.


Objective: To identify specific preoperative tumor characteristics and potential surgical decisions that ultimately place a patient at a greater risk for tumor recurrence.

Design: The clinical presentation, management, and prognosis of 23 consecutive cases of juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma were reviewed retrospectively from January 1, 1977, to June 30, 1993. A minimum follow-up of 12 months was necessary for study inclusion.

Setting: A single, tertiary care pediatric facility.

Interventions: All available preoperative imaging studies were reevaluated to ensure consistency in reporting. Preoperative computed tomography was performed in 21 patients, but only 18 scans were available for review. Preoperative angiography with embolization was performed in 21 of 23 patients. Surgical excision was the primary mode of treatment in 22 of 23 patients, and complete surgical excision was possible in 21 of 23 patients.

Main outcome measures: The rate of recurrence was examined with respect to time of presentations, initial tumor stage, intraoperative blood loss, and surgical approach.

Results: When compared with patients without a recurrent tumor, there was no difference in age at presentation, primary symptom, or duration of symptoms before diagnosis. Preoperative tumor stage was found to be the primary factor affecting tumor recurrence. A recurrence rate of 21.7% (five of 23 patients) was identified after an average 6-year follow-up. A trend toward use of the midfacial degloving approach for surgical exposure was identified and was not associated with an increased risk of recurrence. All patients were ultimately cured of their tumor without the need for open craniotomy despite a 32% incidence of stage IIIA and IIIB tumors. No deaths were reported during the study.

Conclusions: Juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibromas are benign tumors occurring almost exclusively in adolescent males. Recent advances in radiographic imaging techniques allow for more accurate preoperative staging, especially in regard to skull base involvement. Recognition of the extent of the tumor before surgical extirpation reduces the risk of recurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiofibroma / pathology*
  • Angiofibroma / surgery
  • Angiography
  • Child
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed