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Clinical Note
May 2012

Prepontine Epidural AbscessA Rare Complication of Bacterial Rhinosinusitis

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Vazquez, Kuperan, and Eloy and Mr Ramchand) and Neurological Surgery (Drs Liu and Eloy) and Center for Skull Base and Pituitary Surgery, Neurological Institute of New Jersey (Drs Liu and Eloy), University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–New Jersey Medical School, Newark.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(5):512-514. doi:10.1001/archoto.2012.438

Prepontine epidural abscesses are extremely rare disease entities. To our knowledge, only 2 previous cases have been reported in the literature, neither of which was attributed to rhinosinusitis. Although the precise incidence of intracranial complications of rhinosinusitis is unknown, it is estimated that 3% to 4% of patients who are hospitalized for sinusitis develop central nervous system involvement. Suppurative intracranial complications of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (ABRS) include subdural empyema, epidural and intraparenchymal abscesses, meningitis, thrombosis of the dural sinuses, and cavernous sinus thrombosis. We report an unusual case of a prepontine epidural abscess that developed from ethmoid and sphenoid bacterial sinusitis and resulted in right sixth nerve palsy. Institutional review board approval was obtained from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–New Jersey Medical School, Newark.

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