Complications of acute infective rhinosinusitis: Experience from a developing country

A. Ali, Mary Kurien*, S. S. Mathews, J. Mathew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Complications of acute infective sinusitis are a therapeutic emergency. The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical presentation, microbiological pattern, treatment modalities and outcome of patients diagnosed to have acute rhinogenic orbital, intra- and extra-cranial complications from a developing country in Asia. Methods: A retrospective chart review from October 1999 to January 2004 was conducted. Results: Among 247 ENT surgical emergencies documented, 13 patients (5.3 percent) were diagnosed to have acute sinusitis with various complications either as in solitary or multiple forms. Orbital complications were the most common (61.5 percent) followed by acute subdural empyema (23.1 percent) and meningitis (15.2 percent). Subdural empyema was the most common intracranial complications. Staphylococcus was reported to be the most common offending organism (45.5 percent). Majority of the patients (84.6 percent) had surgical drainage of the affected sinuses, 38.5 percent being endoscopic drainage while external approach was done for those with coexisting osteomyelitis (30.8 percent). Two patients had combined approach, and one patient had post-operative facial paresis. There was no mortality in our series. Conclusion: Early detection, aggressive medical and prompt surgical treatment by multidisciplinary approach involving ophthalmological, neurosurgical and rhinological procedures, can successfully treat the complications with a significant reduction in the morbidity and no mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-544
Number of pages5
JournalSingapore Medical Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute rhinosinusitis
  • Infective rhinosinusitis
  • Rhinosinusitis complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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