Management of medial subperiosteal abscess of the orbit in children - A 5 year experience

Kevin D. Pereira, Ron B. Mitchell, Ramzi T. Younis, Rande H. Lazar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A medial subperiosteal abscess (SPA) of the orbit is the most common serious complication of sinusitis in children. The distinction between SPA and the more benign pre-septal disease is difficult to make especially in a young child in whom an ophthalmological evaluation is often difficult. Computerised tomography (CT) is the investigation of choice in making this distinction. Subperiosteal inflammatory disease of the orbit is initially treated with intravenous antibiotic therapy with surgery reserved for those patients who do not respond to medical treatment and in whom a medial SPA is confirmed by CT. Conventionally, the abscess is drained via an external incision and an ethmoidectomy is performed at the same time. More recently, successful drainage of SPA's has been accomplished endoscopically via a intranasal approach with less morbidity and superior cosmesis. We present a 5 year experience of 24 patients with CT scans suggestive of medial SPA. who underwent endoscopic exploration of the medial subperiosteal orbital space. We discuss the current management of medial subperiosteal disease of the orbit in children and include a review of the literature. Also included is a clinical staging system which aids the management of orbital complications of sinusitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-254
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 3 1997


  • Children
  • Complications
  • Sinusitis
  • Subperiosteal abscess

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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