Failure of contrast enhanced computed tomography scans to identify an orbital abscess. The benefit of magnetic resonance imaging

J Laryngol Otol. 2008 Jun;122(6):639-40. doi: 10.1017/S0022215107000102. Epub 2007 Jul 19.


Introduction: Acute sinusitis is a relatively common condition, which usually responds to medical therapy. In most cases, there are no sequelae or complications subsequent to this infection. However, like many acute illnesses, there are well documented complications of acute sinusitis, and in particular these include peri-orbital and intracranial spread.

Objective: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of vigilance in peri-orbital involvement and the limitations of imaging techniques, such as computed tomography scanning. An illustrative case is presented to demonstrate this.

Conclusion: Magnetic resonance imaging scanning is a valuable modality in assessing complex presentations of peri-orbital complications of acute sinusitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnosis*
  • Abscess / etiology
  • Abscess / surgery
  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Contrast Media
  • Drainage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Orbital Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Orbital Diseases / etiology
  • Orbital Diseases / surgery
  • Sinusitis / complications
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*


  • Contrast Media