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Abstract Olfactory neuroblastoma (ONB) is a rare malignant neoplasm arising from the superior aspect of the nasal vault. Cases are characterised by insidious clinical presentation and high rates of recurrence despite surgical resection and adjuvant radiotherapy. There are a small number of reports showing ONB with divergent epithelial or ganglionic differentiation, and ONB has also been found to coincide with adenocarcinoma. We present a case of mixed ONB with adenocarcinoma. The clinical presentation was unusual, with a tonic–clonic seizure preceded by chronic headache and anosmia. Imaging revealed a mass extending from the olfactory recess of the left nasal cavity through the cribriform plate to the anterior cranial fossa. The pathology demonstrated intraepithelial neuroendocrine cell hyperplasia in the left olfactory groove. This finding provides a unique insight into the cellular origin of this rare tumour, and appears to confirm the theory that ONB arises from neural stem cells in the olfactory neuroepithelium. Despite radical treatment, the patient suffered a distant recurrence within 1 year of treatment, which underlines the aggressive nature of this tumour.

Original publication




Journal article


Head and Neck Pathology


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date





792 - 798