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General E.N.T.
July 1962

Barotraumatic Cyst of the Frontal Sinus

Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;76(1):88-93. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740050092017

Aerosinusitis continues to occur with significant frequency. Ordinarily this disease responds quickly to conservative treatment as outlined in standard otolaryngologic texts. However, in the case to be presented here, barotrauma produced a frontal sinus hematoma which subsequently enlarged to form a hemorrhagic cyst. This lesion filled the sinus, occluded the nasofrontal duct, and required surgical intervention.

Severe aerosinusitis rarely occurs during flight in civilian aircraft, because the fluctuation of barometric pressure is usually well controlled by cabin pressurization and gradual ascent and descent.1 However, in certain military aircraft, particularly high-performance jet fighters, various maneuvers

create marked and rapid changes in barometric pressure despite cabin pressurization. Thus the essential environmental requirement for the development of sinus barotrauma is frequently present, and cases of aerosinusitis are common. During 1960, a total of 128 U.S. Air Force flyers were grounded for a total of 1,182 days with the primary diagnosis of aerosinusitis.

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