Complications of acute sinusitis in children

Lance E. Oxford, John McClay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To review the demographic, microbiologic, and outcome data for children with complications of acute sinusitis. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective review of children admitted with complications of acute sinusitis from January 1995 to July 2002 to a tertiary care children's hospital. RESULTS: One hundred four patients were reviewed with the following complications: orbital cellullitis (51), orbital abscesses (44), epidural empyemas (7), subdural empyemas (6), intracerebral abscesses (2), meningitis (2), cavernous sinus thrombosis (1), and Pott's puffy tumors (3). Sixty-six percent were males (P < 0.001), and 64.4% presented from November to March (P < 0.001). Patients with isolated orbital complications were younger than patients with intracranial complications (mean, 6.5 versus 12.3 years), had a shorter stay (mean, 4.2 versus 16.6 days), and had shorter duration of symptoms (mean, 5.4 versus 14.3 days; all P < 0.0001). Complete resolution was documented for 54/55 patients with restricted ocular motility, 7/8 with visual loss, 3/3 patients with a nonreactive pupil, 7/7 with neurological deficits, and 2/4 with seizures. The most common organism isolated was Streptococcus milleri (11/36 patients with surgical cultures). No mortalities occurred, and persistent morbidity occurred in 4 patients (3.8%). CONCLUSIONS: Despite significant deficits on presentation, permanent morbidity was low. Streptococcus milleri is a common pathogen with complications of sinusitis in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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