Orbital Complications of Rhinosinusitis

  • OO Sijuwola
  • AA Adeyemo
  • AA Adeosun


Background: Suppurative extension of rhinosinusitis to the orbit is a
complication that often results from delay in diagnosis and, or inadequate
treatment. These complications may range from preseptal cellulitis, orbital
cellulitis, orbital abscesses, and subperiosteal abscesses to intracranial extension with a threat to both vision and life. This study aims to review the clinical profile, treatment modalities and outcome of orbital complications of rhinosinusitis in Ibadan, Nigeria.
Method: A retrospective review of the charts of patients with orbital complications of rhinosinusitis managed in the departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Ophthalmology, University College Hospital, Ibadan over a five year period (Feb 2002- Jan 2007) was carried out .The diagnosis of rhinosinusitis was based on history, physical examination, plain x ray and CT scan findings and antral puncture. Demographic data, clinical presentation and treatment were evaluated.
Results: A total of 24 patients were reviewed in the study. There were 13males and 11females (M/F, 1:1). The age range was 8months to 75years, 14 (58.3%) patients were children and while 10 (41.7%) patients were adults. 75% of the patients were seen during the dry season (November to February). The duration of symptoms ranged from one day to three weeks. Involvement of one eye occurred in 14 patients (58.3%); right eye (4), left eye (10). Both eyes were involved in 10 patients (41.7%). Non-axial proptosis was seen in 8 patients (33.3%). It was infero-lateral in 6 patients (25%) and infero-nasal in two (8.3%) patients.  Orbitalcellulitis was seen in 10 (41.7%) patients, 6 (25%) patients had preseptal cellulitis while 8 (33%) patients had orbital abscess. Cavernous sinus thrombosis was seen in 3 (12.5%) patients. The cases with preseptal and orbital cellulitis were effectively managed by intravenous antibiotics. Orbital abscesses were drained surgically with complete resolution. Sinus surgical procedures were done in 10(41.7%) patients. This group of patients had preoperative visual acuity of between 6/6 and 6/60. They all had complete resolution of proptosis and good visual outcome.
Conclusion: Orbital complications of acute rhinosinusitis are common in
children. Surgical drainage and aggressive medical management remain the standard to achieve a good prognosis and visual outcome.

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