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Sinusitis

Sinusitis refers to inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body's defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the mucosal lining of the paranasal sinuses Paranasal Sinuses The 4 pair of paranasal sinuses include the maxillary, ethmoid, sphenoid, and frontal sinuses. The sinuses are a group of air-filled cavities located within the facial and cranial skeleton; all are connected to the main nasal cavity and nasopharynx. Paranasal Sinuses: Anatomy. The condition usually occurs concurrently with inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body's defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the nasal mucosa Nasal mucosa The mucous lining of the nasal cavity, including lining of the nostril (vestibule) and the olfactory mucosa. Nasal mucosa consists of ciliated cells, goblet cells, brush cells, small granule cells, basal cells (stem cells) and glands containing both mucous and serous cells. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy ( rhinitis Rhinitis Inflammation of the nasal mucosa, the mucous membrane lining the nasal cavities. Rhinitis), a condition known as rhinosinusitis. Acute sinusitis is due to an upper respiratory infection Upper respiratory infection Rhinitis caused by a viral, bacterial, or fungal agent. Viral etiologies are the most common cause. Sinusitis presents with facial pain Facial pain Pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and glossopharyngeal nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as facial pain syndromes. Trigeminal Neuralgia over the affected sinus and purulent rhinorrhea Rhinorrhea Excess nasal drainage. Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Diagnosis is usually clinical and management is supportive, although it may require antibiotics.

Last updated: 13 Sep, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Epidemiology and Etiology

Epidemiology

  • Incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency: 1 of 7–8 people per year
  • Occurs in up to 80% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with uncomplicated upper respiratory infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (URIs)
  • Bacterial sinusitis is only found in 0.5%–2% of cases
  • Peak annual incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency coincides with peak of viral URIs in fall/ winter Winter Pityriasis Rosea months
  • Higher incidence Incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from prevalence, which refers to all cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency in women and in those aged 45–64 years

Etiology

  • Predisposing factors:
    • Anatomic abnormalities of the paranasal sinuses Paranasal Sinuses The 4 pair of paranasal sinuses include the maxillary, ethmoid, sphenoid, and frontal sinuses. The sinuses are a group of air-filled cavities located within the facial and cranial skeleton; all are connected to the main nasal cavity and nasopharynx. Paranasal Sinuses: Anatomy or nasal cavity Nasal cavity The proximal portion of the respiratory passages on either side of the nasal septum. Nasal cavities, extending from the nares to the nasopharynx, are lined with ciliated nasal mucosa. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy (deviation in nasal septum Nasal septum The partition separating the two nasal cavities in the midplane. It is formed by the septal nasal cartilage, parts of skull bones, and membranous parts. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy, concha bullosa, bony spurs, nasal polyp, choanal atresia Atresia Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS))
    • Impairment of ciliary function ( cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans, primary ciliary dyskinesia Ciliary dyskinesia Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia, immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome)
    • Allergic and vasomotor rhinitis Rhinitis Inflammation of the nasal mucosa, the mucous membrane lining the nasal cavities. Rhinitis
    • Recurrent URIs
    • Asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma and allergies Allergies A medical specialty concerned with the hypersensitivity of the individual to foreign substances and protection from the resultant infection or disorder. Selective IgA Deficiency
    • Dental disease
    • Immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome
    • Older age
    • Smoking Smoking Willful or deliberate act of inhaling and exhaling smoke from burning substances or agents held by hand. Interstitial Lung Diseases
    • Cocaine Cocaine An alkaloid ester extracted from the leaves of plants including coca. It is a local anesthetic and vasoconstrictor and is clinically used for that purpose, particularly in the eye, ear, nose, and throat. It also has powerful central nervous system effects similar to the amphetamines and is a drug of abuse. Cocaine, like amphetamines, acts by multiple mechanisms on brain catecholaminergic neurons; the mechanism of its reinforcing effects is thought to involve inhibition of dopamine uptake. Local Anesthetics abuse
    • Air travel
    • Atmospheric pressure Atmospheric pressure The pressure at any point in an atmosphere due solely to the weight of the atmospheric gases above the point concerned. Ventilation: Mechanics of Breathing change exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment (e.g., deep sea diving)
    • Swimming
    • Foreign body Foreign Body Foreign Body Aspiration in the nasal cavity Nasal cavity The proximal portion of the respiratory passages on either side of the nasal septum. Nasal cavities, extending from the nares to the nasopharynx, are lined with ciliated nasal mucosa. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy
  • Acute: lasts ≤ 4 weeks
    • Viral (most common): rhinovirus Rhinovirus Rhinovirus is an acid-labile, positive-sense RNA virus of the Picornavirus family. The virus, which causes the common cold, is most often acquired through the airway via the inhalation of aerosols containing rhinovirus and fomites. Rhinovirus, coronavirus Coronavirus Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that contain positive-sense, single-stranded RNA. Coronavirus derives its name from “κορώνη korṓnē” in Greek, which translates as “crown,” after the small club-shaped proteins visible as a ring around the viral envelope in electron micrographs. Coronavirus, influenza Influenza Influenza viruses are members of the Orthomyxoviridae family and the causative organisms of influenza, a highly contagious febrile respiratory disease. There are 3 primary influenza viruses (A, B, and C) and various subtypes, which are classified based on their virulent surface antigens, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). Influenza typically presents with a fever, myalgia, headache, and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. Influenza Viruses/Influenza virus Virus Viruses are infectious, obligate intracellular parasites composed of a nucleic acid core surrounded by a protein capsid. Viruses can be either naked (non-enveloped) or enveloped. The classification of viruses is complex and based on many factors, including type and structure of the nucleoid and capsid, the presence of an envelope, the replication cycle, and the host range. Virology, adenovirus Adenovirus Adenovirus (member of the family Adenoviridae) is a nonenveloped, double-stranded DNA virus. Adenovirus is transmitted in a variety of ways, and it can have various presentations based on the site of entry. Presentation can include febrile pharyngitis, conjunctivitis, acute respiratory disease, atypical pneumonia, and gastroenteritis. Adenovirus, parainfluenza virus Parainfluenza virus Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) are single-stranded, linear, negative-sense RNA viruses of the family Paramyxoviridae and the genus Paramyxovirus. Human parainfluenza viruses are the 2nd most common cause of lower respiratory disease in children, after the respiratory syncytial virus. Parainfluenza Virus
    • Bacterial: Streptococcus Streptococcus Streptococcus is one of the two medically important genera of gram-positive cocci, the other being Staphylococcus. Streptococci are identified as different species on blood agar on the basis of their hemolytic pattern and sensitivity to optochin and bacitracin. There are many pathogenic species of streptococci, including S. pyogenes, S. agalactiae, S. pneumoniae, and the viridans streptococci. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae Haemophilus Influenzae A species of Haemophilus found on the mucous membranes of humans and a variety of animals. The species is further divided into biotypes I through viii. Haemophilus, Moraxella Moraxella Moraxella is a genus of gram-negative diplococci, with M. catarrhalis being the most clinically relevant species. M. catarrhalis is part of the normal flora of the upper respiratory tract, but it can cause infection in susceptible individuals. The infection is transmitted through respiratory droplets and can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations in adults and otitis media in children. Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus Staphylococcus aureus Potentially pathogenic bacteria found in nasal membranes, skin, hair follicles, and perineum of warm-blooded animals. They may cause a wide range of infections and intoxications. Brain Abscess, Escherichia coli Escherichia coli The gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli is a key component of the human gut microbiota. Most strains of E. coli are avirulent, but occasionally they escape the GI tract, infecting the urinary tract and other sites. Less common strains of E. coli are able to cause disease within the GI tract, most commonly presenting as abdominal pain and diarrhea. Escherichia coli, Klebsiella Klebsiella Klebsiella are encapsulated gram-negative, lactose-fermenting bacilli. They form pink colonies on MacConkey agar due to lactose fermentation. The main virulence factor is a polysaccharide capsule. Klebsiella pneumoniae is the most important pathogenic species. Klebsiella
      • S. pnuemoniae and H. influenzae H. influenzae A species of Haemophilus found on the mucous membranes of humans and a variety of animals. The species is further divided into biotypes I through VIII. Haemophilus are responsible for 75% of cases
  • Chronic: lasts over 12 weeks; characterized by prolonged inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the sinuses; occasionally associated with immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome disorders
    • Fungal: Aspergillus Aspergillus A genus of mitosporic fungi containing about 100 species and eleven different teleomorphs in the family trichocomaceae. Echinocandins, Rhizopus Rhizopus A genus of zygomycetes fungi of the family mucoraceae, order mucorales, a common saprophyte and facultative parasite of mature fruits and vegetables. It may cause cerebral mycoses in diabetes and cutaneous infection in severely burned patients. Mucorales/Mucormycosis oryzae
    • Bacterial: S. aureus S. aureus Potentially pathogenic bacteria found in nasal membranes, skin, hair follicles, and perineum of warm-blooded animals. They may cause a wide range of infections and intoxications. Staphylococcus (often methicillin Methicillin One of the penicillins which is resistant to penicillinase but susceptible to a penicillin-binding protein. It is inactivated by gastric acid so administered by injection. Penicillins-resistant S. aureus S. aureus Potentially pathogenic bacteria found in nasal membranes, skin, hair follicles, and perineum of warm-blooded animals. They may cause a wide range of infections and intoxications. Staphylococcus) and anaerobic organisms ( Prevotella Prevotella A genus of gram-negative, anaerobic, nonsporeforming, nonmotile rods. Organisms of this genus had originally been classified as members of the bacteroides genus but overwhelming biochemical and chemical findings in 1990 indicated the need to separate them from other bacteroides species, and hence, this new genus was established. Dog and Cat Bites, Porphyromonas Porphyromonas A genus of gram-negative, anaerobic, nonsporeforming, nonmotile rods or coccobacilli. Organisms in this genus had originally been classified as members of the bacteroides genus but overwhelming biochemical and chemical findings indicated the need to separate them from other bacteroides species, and hence, this new genus was created. Dog and Cat Bites, Fusobacterium Fusobacterium A genus of gram-negative, anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria found in cavities of humans and other animals. No endospores are formed. Some species are pathogenic and occur in various purulent or gangrenous infections. Dog and Cat Bites, and Peptostreptococcus Peptostreptococcus A genus of gram-positive, anaerobic, coccoid bacteria that is part of the normal flora of humans. Its organisms are opportunistic pathogens causing bacteremias and soft tissue infections. Perianal and Perirectal Abscess spp.)

Pathophysiology

Viral

  • Inoculation via direct contact with the conjunctiva Conjunctiva The mucous membrane that covers the posterior surface of the eyelids and the anterior pericorneal surface of the eyeball. Eye: Anatomy or nasal mucosa Nasal mucosa The mucous lining of the nasal cavity, including lining of the nostril (vestibule) and the olfactory mucosa. Nasal mucosa consists of ciliated cells, goblet cells, brush cells, small granule cells, basal cells (stem cells) and glands containing both mucous and serous cells. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy
  • Viral replication can be detected via viral levels in nasal secretions within 8–10 hours
  • Symptoms can occur after the first day of inoculation

Bacterial

  • Most important pathophysiological change: obstruction of sinus drainage 
  • Normal metachronous ( sequential Sequential Computed Tomography (CT)) movement of mucous toward the natural ostia of the sinuses is usually disrupted by mucosal inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation → stasis
  • Ciliary function impairment leads to a reduction in mucus drainage → stasis
  • Stasis of secretions inside the sinuses leads to a proliferation of microorganisms
  • Alterations in the composition and quantity of mucus can also contribute to infection; increased mucus production is seen with asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma, rhinitis Rhinitis Inflammation of the nasal mucosa, the mucous membrane lining the nasal cavities. Rhinitis, and viral URIs

Clinical Presentation

General manifestations

  • Nasal congestion and obstruction
  • Mucopurulent or purulent nasal discharge
  • Headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess
  • Facial pain Facial pain Pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and glossopharyngeal nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as facial pain syndromes. Trigeminal Neuralgia or heaviness over the affected sinus (increases with bending forward)
    • Maxillary sinuses: over the cheeks Cheeks The part of the face that is below the eye and to the side of the nose and mouth. Melasma
    • Frontal Frontal The bone that forms the frontal aspect of the skull. Its flat part forms the forehead, articulating inferiorly with the nasal bone and the cheek bone on each side of the face. Skull: Anatomy sinuses: lower forehead Forehead The part of the face above the eyes. Melasma
    • Ethmoidal sinuses: nasal bridge or between/behind the eyes
  • Fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever
  • Maxillary tooth discomfort and other facial pain Facial pain Pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and glossopharyngeal nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as facial pain syndromes. Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • General malaise Malaise Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus and myalgia Myalgia Painful sensation in the muscles. Ion Channel Myopathy

Viral sinusitis

Viral sinusitis usually presents in a milder form and lasts 7–10 days.

Bacterial sinusitis

  • Persists for > 10 days without clinical improvement
  • Biphasic pattern: may initially improve, then worsens after 5–6 days (“double worsening”)
  • Presents with more severe symptoms:
    • High fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever
    • Intense facial pain Facial pain Pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and glossopharyngeal nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as facial pain syndromes. Trigeminal Neuralgia 
    • Hyposmia Hyposmia reduced ability to smell Cranial Nerve Palsies or anosmia Anosmia Complete or severe loss of the subjective sense of smell. Loss of smell may be caused by many factors such as a cold, allergy, olfactory nerve diseases, viral respiratory tract infections (e.g., COVID-19), aging and various neurological disorders (e.g., Alzheimer disease). Cranial Nerve Palsies
    • Halitosis Halitosis An offensive, foul breath odor resulting from a variety of causes such as poor oral hygiene, dental or oral infections, or the ingestion of certain foods. Oral Cancer
    • Cough
    • Ear pain Ear Pain Acute Otitis Media, pressure, fullness, hearing loss Hearing loss Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is any degree of impairment in the ability to apprehend sound as determined by audiometry to be below normal hearing thresholds. Clinical presentation may occur at birth or as a gradual loss of hearing with age, including a short-term or sudden loss at any point. Hearing Loss, or tinnitus Tinnitus A nonspecific symptom of hearing disorder characterized by the sensation of buzzing, ringing, clicking, pulsations, and other noises in the ear. Objective tinnitus refers to noises generated from within the ear or adjacent structures that can be heard by other individuals. The term subjective tinnitus is used when the sound is audible only to the affected individual. Tinnitus may occur as a manifestation of cochlear diseases; vestibulocochlear nerve diseases; intracranial hypertension; craniocerebral trauma; and other conditions. Cranial Nerve Palsies

Fungal sinusitis

Fungal sinusitis usually presents chronically, with atypical symptoms ( epistaxis Epistaxis Bleeding from the nose. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, and black/brown nasal secretions).

Complications and/or associated conditions

  • Acute otitis media Acute Otitis Media Acute otitis media is an infection in the middle ear characterized by mucosal inflammation and retention of fluid. The most common pathogens are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. The condition can present with fever, otalgia, and diminished hearing. Acute Otitis Media
  • Pharyngitis Pharyngitis Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the back of the throat (pharynx). Pharyngitis is usually caused by an upper respiratory tract infection, which is viral in most cases. It typically results in a sore throat and fever. Other symptoms may include a runny nose, cough, headache, and hoarseness. Pharyngitis
  • Meningitis Meningitis Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, the protective membranes of the brain, and spinal cord. The causes of meningitis are varied, with the most common being bacterial or viral infection. The classic presentation of meningitis is a triad of fever, altered mental status, and nuchal rigidity. Meningitis
  • Pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia
  • Subperiosteal/intracranial abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that results from the spread of microorganisms from the blood (hematogenous), nearby infected tissue, or open wounds (non-hematogenous). Infections are most commonly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Osteomyelitis (usually of the frontal Frontal The bone that forms the frontal aspect of the skull. Its flat part forms the forehead, articulating inferiorly with the nasal bone and the cheek bone on each side of the face. Skull: Anatomy bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types)
  • Preseptal/orbital cellulitis Cellulitis Cellulitis is a common infection caused by bacteria that affects the dermis and subcutaneous tissue of the skin. It is frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. The skin infection presents as an erythematous and edematous area with warmth and tenderness. Cellulitis
  • Septic cavernous sinus thrombosis Cavernous sinus thrombosis Formation or presence of a blood clot (thrombus) in the cavernous sinus of the brain. Infections of the paranasal sinuses and adjacent structures, craniocerebral trauma, and thrombophilia are associated conditions. Clinical manifestations include dysfunction of cranial nerves III, IV, V, and VI, marked periorbital swelling, chemosis, fever, and visual loss. Cranial Nerve Palsies

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is usually based on clinical symptoms.

  • Uncomplicated sinusitis: < 4 weeks of purulent nasal discharge + nasal obstruction or facial pain Facial pain Pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and glossopharyngeal nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as facial pain syndromes. Trigeminal Neuralgia/pressure/fullness or both
  • Complicated sinusitis: When signs and symptoms extend beyond paranasal sinuses Paranasal Sinuses The 4 pair of paranasal sinuses include the maxillary, ethmoid, sphenoid, and frontal sinuses. The sinuses are a group of air-filled cavities located within the facial and cranial skeleton; all are connected to the main nasal cavity and nasopharynx. Paranasal Sinuses: Anatomy and nasal cavity Nasal cavity The proximal portion of the respiratory passages on either side of the nasal septum. Nasal cavities, extending from the nares to the nasopharynx, are lined with ciliated nasal mucosa. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy, urgent evaluation is required.

To differentiate viral sinusitis from bacterial sinusitis:

  • Viral rhinosinusitis is diagnosed clinically when symptoms last 7–10 days and do not worsen.
  • Bacterial rhinosinusitis is diagnosed clinically when symptoms last > 10 days or are of a biphasic pattern (see “double worsening,” above) and are more severe in nature. Requires antibiotics for resolution

Laboratory tests

  • Indicated if no response to treatment or worsening is observed
  • Leukocytosis Leukocytosis A transient increase in the number of leukocytes in a body fluid. West Nile Virus is rarely seen.
  • May help determine the underlying cause:
    • Allergic rhinitis Rhinitis Inflammation of the nasal mucosa, the mucous membrane lining the nasal cavities. Rhinitis confirmed with a radioallergosorbent test, allergen skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions test, or smear of nasal secretions showing eosinophilia Eosinophilia Abnormal increase of eosinophils in the blood, tissues or organs. Autosomal Dominant Hyperimmunoglobulin E Syndrome
    • Sweat chloride Chloride Inorganic compounds derived from hydrochloric acid that contain the Cl- ion. Electrolytes test for cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans

Culture

Presence of more than 104 colony-forming units/mL on bacterial culture is confirmatory for bacterial sinusitis in children.

Imaging

  • Not recommended unless complicated sinusitis arises
  • Skull Skull The skull (cranium) is the skeletal structure of the head supporting the face and forming a protective cavity for the brain. The skull consists of 22 bones divided into the viscerocranium (facial skeleton) and the neurocranium. Skull: Anatomy X-rays X-rays X-rays are high-energy particles of electromagnetic radiation used in the medical field for the generation of anatomical images. X-rays are projected through the body of a patient and onto a film, and this technique is called conventional or projectional radiography. X-rays show decreased transparency of sinus and air-fluid levels.
  • Computed tomography is the modality of choice and shows mucoperiosteal thickening, air-fluid levels, and soft tissue Soft Tissue Soft Tissue Abscess extension Extension Examination of the Upper Limbs in case of complications (e.g., orbital cellulitis Cellulitis Cellulitis is a common infection caused by bacteria that affects the dermis and subcutaneous tissue of the skin. It is frequently caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. The skin infection presents as an erythematous and edematous area with warmth and tenderness. Cellulitis).
  • Nasal endoscopy Endoscopy Procedures of applying endoscopes for disease diagnosis and treatment. Endoscopy involves passing an optical instrument through a small incision in the skin i.e., percutaneous; or through a natural orifice and along natural body pathways such as the digestive tract; and/or through an incision in the wall of a tubular structure or organ, i.e. Transluminal, to examine or perform surgery on the interior parts of the body. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) may be used to exclude structural lesions.

Biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma

Only needed if infection recurs or if there is no response to different empiric therapies.

Management

General supportive care

  • Acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be given for facial pain Facial pain Pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and glossopharyngeal nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as facial pain syndromes. Trigeminal Neuralgia and, if present, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever.

Viral sinusitis

  • Aims only to provide symptomatic relief, as viral sinusitis is self-limiting Self-Limiting Meningitis in Children
  • Nasal lavage with hypertonic Hypertonic Solutions that have a greater osmotic pressure than a reference solution such as blood, plasma, or interstitial fluid. Renal Sodium and Water Regulation NaCl solution 
  • Decongestants (e.g., xylometazoline nasal spray) or sympathomimetics Sympathomimetics Sympathomimetic drugs, also known as adrenergic agonists, mimic the action of the stimulators (î±, β, or dopamine receptors) of the sympathetic autonomic nervous system. Sympathomimetic drugs are classified based on the type of receptors the drugs act on (some agents act on several receptors but 1 is predominate). Sympathomimetic Drugs (e.g., pseudoephedrine) 
  • Antihistamines Antihistamines Antihistamines are drugs that target histamine receptors, particularly H1 and H2 receptors. H1 antagonists are competitive and reversible inhibitors of H1 receptors. First-generation antihistamines cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause sedation. Antihistamines (e.g., loratadine Loratadine A second-generation histamine h1 receptor antagonist used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and urticaria. Unlike most classical antihistamines (histamine h1 antagonists) it lacks central nervous system depressing effects such as drowsiness. Antihistamines) if concurrent allergy Allergy An abnormal adaptive immune response that may or may not involve antigen-specific IgE Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction symptoms are present
  • Intranasal steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors (e.g., fluticasone Fluticasone A steroid with glucocorticoid receptor activity that is used to manage the symptoms of asthma; allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. Glucocorticoids) to relieve mucosal swelling Swelling Inflammation/ facial pain Facial pain Pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. Associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal, facial, and glossopharyngeal nerves. Conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as facial pain syndromes. Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Mucolytics (e.g., guaifenesin) can thin secretions and promote drainage

Bacterial sinusitis

  • First-line: amoxicillin Amoxicillin A broad-spectrum semisynthetic antibiotic similar to ampicillin except that its resistance to gastric acid permits higher serum levels with oral administration. Penicillins, with or without clavulanate for 5–10 days
  • Second-line:
    • IV ceftriaxone Ceftriaxone A broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic and cefotaxime derivative with a very long half-life and high penetrability to meninges, eyes and inner ears. Cephalosporins is used for children who are unable to tolerate oral medication.
    • Oxycycline, levofloxacin Levofloxacin The l-isomer of ofloxacin. Fluoroquinolones, or moxifloxacin Moxifloxacin A fluoroquinolone that acts as an inhibitor of DNA topoisomerase II and is used as a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent. Fluoroquinolones are used in case of penicillin Penicillin Rheumatic Fever allergy Allergy An abnormal adaptive immune response that may or may not involve antigen-specific IgE Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction.
    • Levofloxacin Levofloxacin The l-isomer of ofloxacin. Fluoroquinolones, moxifloxacin Moxifloxacin A fluoroquinolone that acts as an inhibitor of DNA topoisomerase II and is used as a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent. Fluoroquinolones, or clindamycin Clindamycin An antibacterial agent that is a semisynthetic analog of lincomycin. Lincosamides are used if symptoms persist > 14 days or no improvement is seen within the first 3 days of treatment.
  • Chronic bacterial sinusitis: broad-spectrum Broad-Spectrum Fluoroquinolones aminopenicillin + beta-lactamase Beta-Lactamase Penicillins inhibitor 
  • Decongestants and antihistamines Antihistamines Antihistamines are drugs that target histamine receptors, particularly H1 and H2 receptors. H1 antagonists are competitive and reversible inhibitors of H1 receptors. First-generation antihistamines cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause sedation. Antihistamines are not recommended.

Fungal sinusitis

  • Antifungal Antifungal Azoles therapy (e.g., amphotericin B Amphotericin B Macrolide antifungal antibiotic produced by streptomyces nodosus obtained from soil of the orinoco river region of venezuela. Polyenes)
  • Management of immunocompromising conditions (e.g., AIDS AIDS Chronic HIV infection and depletion of CD4 cells eventually results in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which can be diagnosed by the presence of certain opportunistic diseases called AIDS-defining conditions. These conditions include a wide spectrum of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections as well as several malignancies and generalized conditions. HIV Infection and AIDS, HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs, cancer, etc ETC The electron transport chain (ETC) sends electrons through a series of proteins, which generate an electrochemical proton gradient that produces energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Electron Transport Chain (ETC).)
  • If the infection is chronic and invasive, it may require surgical debridement Debridement The removal of foreign material and devitalized or contaminated tissue from or adjacent to a traumatic or infected lesion until surrounding healthy tissue is exposed. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome of necrotic tissue.

Clinical Relevance

The following are potential underlying conditions or differential diagnoses of sinusitis:

  • Cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans: an autosomal recessive Autosomal recessive Autosomal inheritance, both dominant and recessive, refers to the transmission of genes from the 22 autosomal chromosomes. Autosomal recessive diseases are only expressed when 2 copies of the recessive allele are inherited. Autosomal Recessive and Autosomal Dominant Inheritance disorder caused by mutation Mutation Genetic mutations are errors in DNA that can cause protein misfolding and dysfunction. There are various types of mutations, including chromosomal, point, frameshift, and expansion mutations. Types of Mutations of the CFTR gene Gene A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms. Basic Terms of Genetics, which leads to defective chloride channels Chloride Channels Cell membrane glycoproteins that form channels to selectively pass chloride ions. Nonselective blockers include fenamates; ethacrynic acid; and tamoxifen. Ion Channel Myopathy and hyperviscosity Hyperviscosity Hypercoagulable States of exocrine gland secretions
  • Primary ciliary dyskinesia Ciliary dyskinesia Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia: an autosomal recessive Autosomal recessive Autosomal inheritance, both dominant and recessive, refers to the transmission of genes from the 22 autosomal chromosomes. Autosomal recessive diseases are only expressed when 2 copies of the recessive allele are inherited. Autosomal Recessive and Autosomal Dominant Inheritance disease associated with sinusitis, situs inversus, recurrent respiratory infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease, and bronchiectasis Bronchiectasis Bronchiectasis is a chronic disease of the airways that results from permanent bronchial distortion. This results from a continuous cycle of inflammation, bronchial damage and dilation, impaired clearance of secretions, and recurrent infections. Bronchiectasis, among other abnormalities
  • Dental abscess Abscess Accumulation of purulent material in tissues, organs, or circumscribed spaces, usually associated with signs of infection. Chronic Granulomatous Disease: a collection of pus in the pulp of a tooth that can spread to local or regional structures, including the gums, facial bones, tongue Tongue The tongue, on the other hand, is a complex muscular structure that permits tasting and facilitates the process of mastication and communication. The blood supply of the tongue originates from the external carotid artery, and the innervation is through cranial nerves. Lips and Tongue: Anatomy, and facial muscles Facial muscles The facial muscles (also called mimetic muscles) control facial expression and are supplied by the facial nerve. Most of them originate from the skull and attach to the skin around the facial openings, which serve as a method to group or classify them. Facial Muscles: Anatomy
  • Foreign nasal body: common in children < 5 years old. Often involves food items or small toys. Presents with unilateral rhinorrhea Rhinorrhea Excess nasal drainage. Respiratory Syncytial Virus that can become foul-smelling or purulent, signs of nasal obstruction, or epistaxis Epistaxis Bleeding from the nose. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis
  • Migraine Migraine Migraine headache is a primary headache disorder and is among the most prevalent disorders in the world. Migraine is characterized by episodic, moderate to severe headaches that may be associated with increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine Headache: a type of headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess characterized by recurrent, debilitating episodes that are typically unilateral, throbbing and/or pulsatile in quality Quality Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps. Quality Measurement and Improvement, and frequently accompanied by nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, and sensitivity Sensitivity Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Blotting Techniques to light and sound
  • Rhinitis Rhinitis Inflammation of the nasal mucosa, the mucous membrane lining the nasal cavities. Rhinitis: an inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of the nasal mucosa Nasal mucosa The mucous lining of the nasal cavity, including lining of the nostril (vestibule) and the olfactory mucosa. Nasal mucosa consists of ciliated cells, goblet cells, brush cells, small granule cells, basal cells (stem cells) and glands containing both mucous and serous cells. Nose and Nasal Cavity: Anatomy, classified into allergic, non-allergic, and infectious Infectious Febrile Infant
  • Asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma: a chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory system characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness, episodic exacerbation, and reversible airflow obstruction. 
  • Otitis media: an infection of the middle ear Middle ear The space and structures directly internal to the tympanic membrane and external to the inner ear (labyrinth). Its major components include the auditory ossicles and the eustachian tube that connects the cavity of middle ear (tympanic cavity) to the upper part of the throat. Acute Otitis Media that typically follows an upper respiratory tract infection in children < 5 years old. Most commonly caused by S. pneumoniae. Presents with otalgia Otalgia Acute Otitis Media and fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever. Examination shows a bulging tympanic membrane Bulging Tympanic Membrane Acute Otitis Media.
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis A multisystemic disease of a complex genetic background. It is characterized by inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis) leading to damage in any number of organs. The common features include granulomatous inflammation of the respiratory tract and kidneys. Most patients have measurable autoantibodies (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies) against myeloblastin. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis: an antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody–associated vasculitis Vasculitis Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the arteries; veins; and rest of the vasculature system in the body. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus leading to inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation of small- and medium-sized blood vessels. Results in damage to several organ systems of the body, most often the respiratory tract and kidneys Kidneys The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located retroperitoneally against the posterior wall of the abdomen on either side of the spine. As part of the urinary tract, the kidneys are responsible for blood filtration and excretion of water-soluble waste in the urine. Kidneys: Anatomy.

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