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The correlation of microbiology growth between subperiosteal orbital abscess and affected sinuses in young children

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Subperiosteal orbital abscess (SPOA) typically presents as a collection of pus in the space between the periorbit and the lamina papyracea adjacent to the infected paranasal sinuses. The aim of this study was to investigate the simultaneous microbiological growth from an SPOA and the paranasal sinuses in the same children.


A retrospective study was performed on cultures obtained from involved sinuses and surgically drained abscesses in young children with SPOA from January 1992 to March 2009.


Twenty-two children with a mean age of 5.9 years were included. Results of the microbiological studies were available from the sinuses of 17 children (77.2%) and from the SPOA in 18 children (81.8%). High rates of staphylococci bacteria and Streptococcus viridans were observed compared with lower-than-expected upper respiratory tract infection pathogens. Both groups showed scarce anaerobic and polymicrobial growth. In 13 children (59%), both sinus and abscess culture results were available with correlation found in only 4 (30.7%) of these children.


In this study we report the results of bacteriological studies of nasal sinuses and SPOAs in young children, with a low rate of correlation between both sites and low rates of anaerobic growth, but high rates of staphylococcal growth in the SPOA cultures. These observations might be related to the trend toward conservative treatment in children.

Keywords: Abscess drainage; antibiotics; children; correlation; management; microbiology; orbital complications; rhinosinusitis; subperiosteal orbital abscess; surgery

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Israel

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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