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Lymphoepithelial carcinoma in the maxillary sinus: a case report

Darouichi Mohammed1, Alshammari Jaber2, Monnier Philippe2 and Sandu Kishore23*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, Hôpital Neuchatelois, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

2 Department of ORL and Head and Neck surgery, CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland

3 Department of ORL and Head and Neck surgery, L’Hôpital du Valais, Center Hospitalier du Center du Valais-CHCV, 1950, Sion, Switzerland

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:416  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-416

Published: 11 December 2012



Lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the maxillary sinus is a very rare malignancy and it can be difficult to make a pre-operative diagnosis.

Case presentation

A 72-year-old Caucasian woman presented to our facility with an isolated right-side epistaxis that had been present for three months, with the results of a computed tomography scan showing a soft tissue mass in the right maxillary sinus with an impacted tooth. The results of a transnasal endoscopic biopsy were compatible with a lymphoepithelial carcinoma, following which our patient underwent a radical excision of the mass. The final histology results revealed lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the maxillary sinus with negative assays for Epstein-Barr virus. Our patient was given post-operative external radiotherapy and has remained disease-free at three-year follow-up.


This report details the diagnosis and management of a case of lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the maxillary sinus, which is a very rare malignant tumor with very little mention in the literature. Only a strong suspicion with systematic use of various patho-immunological tests helps to arrive at a definitive diagnosis by excluding other better-known tumors.

Maxillary sinus; Lymphoepithelial carcinoma