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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.79 n.4 Pretoria  2008




Three cases of osteoma and an osseous fibroma of the paranasal sinuses of horses in South Africa



I CilliersI; J WilliamsII; A CarstensI; N M DuncanII

IDepartment of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa
IIDepartment of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa




Four horses were presented to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital with histories of facial asymmetry, nasal discharge or obstruction of normal nasal passage airflow. Radiographic examination of the maxillary sinuses of 2 cases revealed well circumscribed, unilateral, mineralised masses; the other 2 cases showed less mineralisation. The masses were accessed for further investigation by surgically created frontonasal bone flaps or trephination of the maxillary sinuses. Diagnosis of osteoma was confirmed histopathologically in 3 of the cases and of ossifying fibroma in the 4th. Two horses were euthanased directly after surgical intervention due to poor prognosis. Osteomas are by nature expansile tumours andfollow the complex communication of the sinuses, and therefore are not all amenable to surgical removal. Osseous fibromas are large, solitary, expansile lesions that are rare in all species but reported most frequently in horses. They have an apparent predilection for the rostral mandible of the horse.

Key words: computed tomography, frontonasal bone flap, histopathology, horse, maxillary sinus, osteoma, osseous fibroma, ossifying fibroma, radiography, trephination



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Received: January 2008
Accepted: October 2008



* Author for correspondence. E-mail:

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