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Clinical Note
August 2002

Bilateral Orbital Complications of Pediatric Rhinosinusitis

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002;128(8):971-974. doi:10.1001/archotol.128.8.971

Orbital complications of pediatric rhinosinusitis are usually unilateral at presentation. We describe 3 children with bilateral orbital cellulitis that occurred as a complication of rhinosinusitis. The children ranged in age from 11 to 14 years, had prolonged hospital stays that ranged from 10 to 19 days, and underwent multiple surgical procedures to drain subperiosteal and intraorbital abscesses. They appeared to have direct spread of disease from the ethmoid sinuses to both orbits, without intracranial spread of infection. Therefore, the presence of bilateral orbital complications of rhinosinusitis does not necessarily imply spread of disease to the cavernous sinus. Children who present with bilateral orbital complications of rhinosinusitis should be treated aggressively from the outset, since they suffer from a more widespread form of the disease.