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Alternative namesNasal tumor; Angiofibroma - juvenile; Benign nasal tumor
DefinitionJuvenile angiofibroma is a benign growth of the back of the nose or upper throat (nasopharynx) that contains many blood vessels.
Causes, incidence, and risk factorsJuvenile angiofibroma is relatively uncommon. It typically is discovered in adolescent boys and is associated with nasal obstruction a visible nasal mass and nosebleeds (epistaxis). The tumor is locally invasive and capable of eroding bone.
Signs and testsAngiofibroma may be visible on examination of the nasopharynx.
Treatment is required if the angiofibroma is enlarging, obstructing the airway, or causing chronic nosebleeds. In some cases, no treatment is necessary.
Surgical treatment includes removal of the tumor. Removal is often difficult because the tumor is unencapsulated and may be deeply invasive. Recurrence of the tumor after surgical resection is common.
Clotting of the vessels of the tumor (embolization) may cause the tumor to scar and stop bleeding. Embolization is performed by injecting a substance into the blood vessel to block blood flow through it. Embolization may be adequate by itself to correct the nosebleeds, or it may be followed by surgery to remove the tumor.
Expectations (prognosis)Although not cancerous, angiofibromas may continue to expand. They may disappear spontaneously. There is a high rate of recurrence after surgical removal.
Calling your health care providerCall your health care provider if repeated or frequent nosebleeds occur.
PreventionThere is no known way to prevent this condition.
Update Date: 10/30/2003Philip L. Graham III, M.D., M.S., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of New York, Columbia University, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT