• Vol. 33 No. 5, 656–659
  • 15 September 2004

Acute Isolated Sphenoid Sinusitis

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: Acute isolated sphenoid sinusitis is seen in fewer than 3% of all cases of sinusitis. It is frequently misdiagnosed because of its vague symptoms and the paucity of clinical findings. We report 2 cases of isolated acute isolated sphenoid sinusitis with unusual presentations.

Clinical Picture: Both patients presented with acute headache, eye pain and fever, and were provisionally diagnosed as meningitis. In 1 case, the symptoms were on the contralateral side of the sphenoid infection. Intracranial complications were also present.

Treatment: Treatment included intravenous antibiotics and endoscopic sphenoidotomy.

Outcome: Both patients recovered with no residual neurological disability.

Conclusion: Acute sphenoiditis usually presents with subtle symptoms and elusive physical findings and hence a high index of suspicion is necessary. Complications may arise due to the close proximity of important structures to the sphenoid sinus. Uncomplicated cases can resolve with optimal antibiotic therapy if diagnosed and treated early. Persistence or progression of disease with development of intracranial complications are indications for immediate surgical drainage.


Isolated infection of the sphenoid sinus is uncommon. It usually occurs in conjunction with infection of the other paranasal sinuses. Acute isolated sphenoid sinusitis is seen in fewer than 3% of all cases of sinusitis.

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