Clinical presentation of allergic fungal sinusitis in children

John E. McClay, Brad Marple, Lav Kapadia, Michael J. Biavati, Brian Nussenbaum, Mark Newcomer, Scott Manning, Tim Booth, Nathan Schwade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the differences in the clinical and radiographic presentation of allergic fungal sinusitis in children and adults. Study Design: Retrospective chart and computed tomography review. Methods: The settings included a tertiary care children's hospital, adult academic private hospital, and academic affiliated county hospital. All patients with documented allergic fungal sinusitis who underwent computed tomography evaluation and had surgical treatment of their disease from 1988 to 1999 were included in the study. In total, 151 patients aged 5 to 75 years; 44 of these patients were less than or equal to 17 years of age (children) and 107 were greater than 17 years of age (adults). Main outcome measures included 1) the presence of obvious bony facial abnormalities on presentation, 2) bilateral or unilateral sinus disease on presentation, 3) the presence of asymmetrical disease on presentation, 4) the presence of bony extension on computed tomography scan, and 5) type of fungus present. Results: Fifteen of 36 (42%) pediatric patients and 10 of 103 (10%) adult patients had obvious alteration of their facial skeleton (proptosis, telecanthus, or malar flattening) on presentation (P <.05). Proptosis was the most common facial abnormality in both groups and was seen more often in children (8 of 36 [22%]) than in adults (9 of 103 [9%]) (P <.05). Twenty-eight of 40 (70%) pediatric patients and 37 of 100 (37%) adult patients presented with unilateral sinus disease (P <.05). Thirtyfive of 40 (88%) pediatric patients and 58 of 100 (58%) adults presented with asymmetrical disease (P <.05). Computed tomography scans showed that 10 of 40 (25%) pediatric patients and 23 of 100 (23%) adult patients had bony erosion with extension of disease into surrounding structures (P >.05). Cultures from both adults and children showed mainly Bipolaris and Curvilaria species in equal amounts (P >.05). Adults had a greater incidence of Aspergillus species. Conclusions: Presentation in pediatric patients with allergic fungal sinusitis is different from that in adults, with children having obvious abnormalities of their facial skeleton, unilateral sinus disease, and asymmetrical disease more often. Findings on computed tomography scan show an equal amount of bony erosion with extension of disease. The types of fungus cultured in the sinus cavities are similar in both groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-569
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Allergic fungal sinusitis
  • Bipolaris
  • Bony erosion
  • Curvilaria
  • Pediatric
  • Proptosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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