INTRODUCTION: This study aims to present our large series of rhinolithiasis and mineralogical, chemical composition and radiological features of rhinoliths to shed light into the etiology and pathogenesis of rhinolithiasis.
METHODS: A total of 35 patients (5 males, 30 females; mean age 24.7±15.0 years; range, 5 to 70 years) with rhinolithiasis treated in our hospital between January 2011 and March 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. All patients were divided into four groups according to their age: 0-10, 11-30, 31-50, and 51-70 years. Data including age, gender, signs and symptoms, and accompanying nasal and extranasal pathologies were recorded. Mineralogical, chemical analysis of rhinoliths, nasal swab examination findings, and psychiatric consultation results were evaluated.
RESULTS: A statistically significant difference was found in symptoms between the groups according to the age group. Mineralogical, biochemical analysis was performed for 13 patients. The analysis revealed calcium carbonate and magnesium phosphate in six patients, magnesium carbonate and magnesium phosphate in three patients, magnesium oxalate and magnesium phosphate in two patients, and calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate in two patients. Normal bacterial flora was found in nasal swab culture results. Only one patient was diagnosed with learning disorder on psychiatric consultation.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Rhinoliths are nasal stones which leads to long-standing nasal obstruction and discharge and nasal and oral malodor. Physicians should be aware unusual presentations, complicated conditions, and co-existing pathologies which can be encountered. A detailed evaluation by rigid nasal endoscopy and radiological evaluation with paranasal sinus computed tomography should be performed.