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Juvenile angiofibroma

  • Definition
    • Juvenile angiofibroma is a noncancerous growth that causes bleeding in the nose and sinuses. It is most often seen in boys and young adult men.

  • Alternative Names
    • Nasal tumor; Angiofibroma - juvenile; Benign nasal tumor; Juvenile nasal angiofibroma; JNA

  • Causes
    • Juvenile angiofibroma is not very common. It is most often found in adolescent boys. The tumor contains many blood vessels, spreads within the area in which it started (locally invasive), and can cause bone damage.

  • Symptoms
  • Exams and Tests
    • The health care provider may see the angiofibroma when examining the upper throat.

      Tests that may be done include:

      Biopsy is generally not recommended due to the high risk of bleeding.

  • Treatment
    • You will need treatment if the angiofibroma is growing larger, blocking the airways, or causing repeated nosebleeds. In some cases, no treatment is needed.

      Surgery may be needed to remove the tumor. The tumor may be hard to remove if it is not enclosed and has spread to other areas. Newer surgery techniques that place a camera up through the nose have made tumor removal surgery less invasive.

      A procedure called embolization may be done to prevent the tumor from bleeding. The procedure may correct the nosebleeds by itself, but it is most often followed by surgery to remove the tumor.

  • Outlook (Prognosis)
    • Although not cancerous, angiofibromas may continue to grow. Some may disappear on their own.

      It is common for the tumor to return after surgery.

  • Possible Complications
    • Complications may include:

      • Anemia
      • Pressure on the brain (rare)
      • Spread of the tumor to the nose, sinuses, and other structures
  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Call your provider if you often have nosebleeds.

  • Prevention
    • There is no known way to prevent this condition.

  • References
    • Haddad J, Keesecker S. Acquired disorders of the nose. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW III, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 377.

      Nicolai P, Castelnuovo P. Benign tumors of the sinonasal tract. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 48.