Palate perforation differentiates cocaine-induced midline destructive lesions from granulomatosis with polyangiitis

M Trimarchi, Stefano Bondi, E Della-Torre, MR Terreni, M Bussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cocaine abuse occasionally causes extensive destruction of the osteocartilaginous structures of the nose, sinuses and palate, which mimics the clinical picture of other diseases associated with necrotising midfacial lesions. The differentiation of cocaine-induced midline destructive lesions (CIMDL) and limited granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) may be difficult, particularly if patients do not readily admit substance abuse. We studied 10 patients with CIMDL and palate perforation referred to our Unit between 2002 and 2015. All cases underwent nasal endoscopy, sinus CT or MRI and ANCA test. In 8 patients, a nasal biopsy was performed. The PubMed database was searched to review all cases of palate perforation described in patients affected by CIMDL or GPA. All 10 cases presented with septal perforation and inferior turbinate destruction. We found hard palate perforation in 7 patients, soft palate perforation in 2 patients, and perforation of both in one patient. ANCA testing was negative in 8 patients and positive in 2, with C-ANCA and P-ANCA specificity, respectively. A review of the English literature identified palate perforation in 5 patients with GPA and in 73 patients with CIMDL. The presence of palate perforation in patients with MDL may represent a clinical marker that strongly favors CIMDL over GPA. © 2017, Pacini Editore S.p.A. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-285
Number of pages5
JournalActa Otorhinolaryngologica Italica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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