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© Borgis - New Medicine 4/2011, s. 113-115
*Lechosław P. Chmielik, Teresa Ryczer, Mieczysław Chmielik
The efficacy of antibiotic therapy in the treatment of complicated acute sinusitis in children – the initial report
Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Head of Department: Prof. Mieczysław Chmielik, MD, PhD
Introduction. Acute ethmoid sinusitis in children can result in severe complications. The treatment consists of antibiotic therapy and in certain cases surgery is mandatory.
Material and methods. We analyzed the clinical data of 45 children who were treated in the Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology of Medical University of Warsaw from January 2005 to January 2011 due to acute complicated ethmoiditis. We analyzed demographic characteristics, clinical signs and symptoms, applied treatment and duration of hospital stay. The presenting complications of acute sinusitis were also taken into account.
Conclusions. The first-line treatment of acute complicated sinusitis in children is intravenous antibiotic therapy. The decision whether the surgery should be performed is made in relation to the clinical condition of the patient. The findings of radiological examinations have also to be taken under consideration. There is a need of multidisciplinary medical care in patients with severe intraorbital and intracranial complications. Ethmoidectomy and maxillary sinus puncture have been the main surgical approaches. Beck puncture was done in 2 cases.

Acute sinusitis is a common disease in children and adolescents (2).
Sinusitis is classified according to the affected sinus. In children the most frequent site of infection is the maxillary sinus, followed by the ethmoidal sinuses (1). However, patients, that are the most likely to develop complications, are those with the frontal, ethmoid, or sphenoid sinusitis (5, 8). The diagnose of acute sinusitis is formed by means of medical history, ENT and pediatric examination and the results of laboratory tests. When there is suspicion of complications of acute sinusitis, the computed tomography should be considered. Also, the ophthalmology, neurology and neurosurgery consultations have to be taken under consideration when there are intraorbital or intracranial complications or if there is a suspicion of any complications.
The diagnosis of acute sinusitis can be formed if signs and symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection are persisent and/or not improving after 7 days from the onset, or they are worsening after 5 days from the onset (5). The most common signs and symptoms of acute sinusitis are nasal obstruction, nasal discharge (the most frequent is purulent, but can be also mucoid or clear), postnasal drip, cough, fever, headache and facial pain. Alterations in the sense of smell, dental pain, and halitosis can be also the symptoms of acute sinusitis (1, 5). Young children may present non specific symptoms such as irritability or poor appetite (1).
The etiology of acute sinusitis is viral or bacterial. Among bacterial pathogens the most common are Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza and Moraxella catarrhalis, which should be considered, particularly in children (2, 5).
Acute bacterial sinusitis can lead to severe and sometimes life-threatening complications. The possibility of developing serious complications by patients with acute bacterial sinusitis should always be considered during therapeutic process. Complications of acute sinusitis are divided into orbital, soft tissue, osteomyelitis of the frontal bone (Pott’s puffy tumor) and intracranial (5, 6). Intracranial complications are meningitis, subdural empyema, epidural abscess, brain abscess, and cavernous sinus thrombosis.
We did retrospective study. The clinical data of 45 patients with acute complicated ethmoiditis, who were treated in the Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology from January 2005 to January 2011, were analyzed.
In the group there were 45 patients with acute ethmoid sinusitis. The median age was 4 years old and 3 months. The youngest patient was 7 weeks old, the oldest one 13, 5 years old. There was male predominance (M: 64%, n = 29; F: 36%, n = 16).
The presenting signs were fever and signs of upper respiratory tract infection. All of the patients had orbital cellulitis, that was present more commonly on the right side – 64% (n = 29). In some patients narrowed or closed palpebral fissure, proptosis, impaired extraocular mobility, impaired visual acuity or slow papillary response to light was observed.

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1. Leung Alexander KC, Kellner James D: Acute sinusitis in children: Diagnosis and management. Journal of Pediatric Health Care 2004; 18, pp. 72-76. 2. American Academy of Pediatrics, Subcommittee on Management of Sinusitis and Committee on Quality Improvement, Clinical practice guidelines: management of sinusitis. Pediatrics 2001; 108, pp. 798-808. 3. Middelweerd MJ, Bolt RJ, Van Der Burg GJ et al.: Treatment of acute ethmoiditis according to a protocol based on clinical stage. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 1996; 34, pp. 288. 4. Sinclair Catherine F, Berkowitz Robert G: Prior antibiotic therapy for acute sinusitis in children and the development of subperiosteal orbital abscess. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2007; 71, pp. 1003-1006. 5. Falagas Matthew E, Giannopoulou Konstantina P, Vardakas Konstantinos Z et al.: Comparison of antibiotics with placebo for treatment of acute sinusitis: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 2008; 8, pp. 543-552. 6. Mortimore S, Wormald PJ: Management of acute complicated sinusitis: a 5-year review. Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 1999; 121(5), pp. 639-42. 7. Gregory P, DeMuri, Ellen R Wald: Acute sinusitis: clinical manifestations and treatment approaches. Pediatric Annals 2010; 39 (1): 34-40. 8. Murray A, Albanasawy L, Morrissey MSC: Periorbital cellulitis secondary to ethmoiditis in a 5-week-old child. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2000; 52, pp. 101-103. 9. Herrmann Brian W, Forsen Jr, James W: Simultaneous intracranial and orbital complications of acute rhinosinusitis in children. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2004; 68, pp. 619-625. 10. Oxford. LE, McClay JE: Complications of acute sinusitis in children. Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 2004; 131, pp. 85-86.
otrzymano: 2011-09-28
zaakceptowano do druku: 2011-10-19

Adres do korespondencji:
*Lechosław P. Chmielik
Klinika Otolaryngologii Dziecięcej WUM
ul. Marszałkowska 24, 00-576 Warszawa
tel./fax: + 48 22 628 05 84
e-mail: laryngologia@litewska.edu.pl

New Medicine 4/2011
Strona internetowa czasopisma New Medicine