Juvenile angiofibroma occurs most commonly among adolescent boys. The tumor contains many blood vessels. It can grow slowly, spreading into the area around the brain and into the orbits of the eye.
Typically, the tumor causes a stuffy nose or headache, often with nosebleeds Nosebleeds Some people get nosebleeds rather often, and others rarely get them. There may be just a trickle of blood or a strong stream. If people swallow the blood, they often vomit it because blood is... read more , which are sometimes very severe. The face may swell, or an eye may bulge. A mass may protrude from the nose, or the nose may become disfigured. If the tumor grows slowly, people may have few symptoms.
Doctors suspect the diagnosis of juvenile angiofibroma based on symptoms.
To confirm the diagnosis, doctors do the imaging tests computed tomography Computed Tomography (CT) In computed tomography (CT), which used to be called computed axial tomography (CAT), an x-ray source and x-ray detector rotate around a person. In modern scanners, the x-ray detector usually... read more (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) In magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a strong magnetic field and very high frequency radio waves are used to produce highly detailed images. MRI does not use x-rays and is usually very safe... read more (MRI).
Another imaging test called angiography Angiography In angiography, x-rays are used to produce detailed images of blood vessels. It is sometimes called conventional angiography to distinguish it from computed tomography (CT) angiography and magnetic... read more (x-rays of blood vessels taken after a dye is injected in the veins to outline them) is often done so that the tumor's blood vessels can be blocked (embolization) before surgery, which reduces bleeding.
A partial biopsy of the tumor may be done but is usually avoided because it can result in severe bleeding.