Managment of orbital complications of sinusitis

Tratamento das complicações orbitais da sinusite

Fazil Emre Ozkurt Zeynep Gursel Ozkurt Aylin Gul Mehmet Akdag Engin Sengul Beyhan Yilmaz Harun Yuksel Faruk Meric About the authors


We reported on the clinical approaches of ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology departments in the treatment of the orbital complications of sinusitis. We also included an in-depth literature review.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical files of 51 patients from January 2008 to January 2014. The records were evaluated for age, gender, type of orbital complications, symptoms, predisposing factors, imaging studies, medical and surgical management, culture results, and follow-up information. SPSS version 15.0 software (Statistical Analysis, The Statistical Package for Social Sciences Inc, Chicago, IL) was used for the statistical analysis.


Fifty-one patients met the criteria, with available medical records, for the study (29 male, 22 female). Thirty-two (62.7%) were diagnosed with preseptal cellulitis and 19 (37.3%) with postseptal cellulitis. After a detailed evaluation, 15 were diagnosed with a subperiosteal abscess (SPA), and 4 were diagnosed with orbital cellulitis. The age and gender was similar for the two groups. Five patients with medial SPA were treated with endoscopic sinus surgery, one patient with inferior SPA was treated with external surgery, and six patients with other localizations were treated with a combination of endoscopic sinus surgery and external surgery. All patients presented with periorbital erythema and edema. The length of hospitalization and duration of symptoms were similar in both groups. Visual acuity was between 1/10 to 10/10 (mean 7/10) and statistically significant for preseptal and postseptal cellulitis groups (p<0.001). All patients received intravenous antibiotics upon the first day of admission.


Orbital complications of acute sinusitis required intensive follow-up and a multidisciplinary approach. A contrast-enhanced paranasal sinus computerized tomography (CT) scan can detect the extent of the infection. An initial trial of intravenosus (IV) antibiotics may be appropriate when close monitoring is possible. Surgery may be indicated when there has been no improvement within 48 hours of intravenous treatment, loss of visual acuity (under 8/10), and a non-medial abscess.

Sinusitis/complications; Orbital diseases/etiology; Abscess

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