Sinonasal adenocarcinomas are tumors of the salivary glands and account for 5-10% of sinonasal malignancies in the United States but are more common in Europe. An association with the dust encountered by woodworkers and in the leather industry is noted[i] [ii]. Overall sinonasal adenocarcinomas are resected, usually endoscopically,[iii] with adjuvant therapy added based on tumor extent, final histology, and margins.


  • Share symptoms with the common cold, i.e. nasal obstruction, nasal discharge, ear fullness, nose bleeding, visual changes, headache or facial pain, facial swelling, vision changes, or neurologic deficits.
  • These symptoms are often related to treatable conditions, but if they persist need to be evaluated to rule out a potentially more serious condition.
  • Some patients show no symptoms



  • Diagnosis requires a referral to an otolaryngologist for evaluation.
  • Tumors may be diagnosed using a nasal scope, biopsy, and/or imaging studies such as CT scan or MRI.



  • Surgery is the primary treatment for sinonasal adenocarcinomas.
  • Radiation therapy is often considered after surgery depending on the pathologic and surgical results and may also be used alone if the tumor cannot be surgically removed.



Bimbi G, Saraceno MS, Riccio S, Gatta G, Licitra L, Cantu G. Adenocarcinoma of ethmoid sinus: an occupational disease. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital 2004;24(4):199–203

Roux FX, Behm E, Page P, Laccourreye O, Pages JC, Brasnu D. [Adenocarcinomas of the ethmoid sinuses. Epidemiological data], Ann Otolaryngol Chir Cervicofac 2002;119(5):271–280

Meccariello G1, Deganello A1, Choussy O2, Gallo O1, Vitali D1, De Raucourt D3, Georgalas C4. Endoscopic nasal versus open approach for the management of sinonasal adenocarcinoma: A pooled-analysis of 1826 patients. Head Neck. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:E2267-74.