Clinical spectrum of acute rhinosinusitis among atopic and nonatopic children in Taiwan

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Jan;76(1):70-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2011.10.002. Epub 2011 Nov 1.


Background: Rhinitis and sinusitis are very common medical conditions and have been shown to be frequently associated. The role of allergies in the pathogenesis of chronic rhinosinusitis has been confirmed; however, the role of allergies in acute rhinosinusitis is debatable. Nonetheless, allergies are an important factor in the development of rhinosinusitis.

Objective: To evaluate the incidence of allergic rhinitis in patients with acute rhinosinusitis and identify the clinical spectrum in Taiwan.

Methods: This study randomly recruited 69 participants between 3 and 12 years of age with acute rhinosinusitis over the period of one and a half years. All participants underwent a nasal peak expiratory flow rate (nPEFR) test, skin-Prick test (SPT), nasal smear examination, nasal culture, radiography (Water's projection) and were requested to complete the Pediatric Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (PRQLQ) as well as provide their allergic history.

Results: Among the 69 participants in the study, 27 (39.1%) participants were shown to have allergic rhinitis. The most troublesome symptoms among the 69 participants with acute rhinosinusitis were postnasal drip (3.00 ± 1.29), nasal obstruction (2.94 ± 1.39) and cough (2.67 ± 1.42). The most troublesome symptoms among the 27 participants with acute rhinosinusitis combined with allergic rhinitis were nasal obstruction (3.33 ± 1.24), postnasal drip (3.22 ± 1.09) and itchy eyes (2.74 ± 1.43) and with the higher values. In addition, the participants (≧ 6 y/o) with acute rhinosinusitis combined with allergic rhinitis had significantly lower nPEFR values compared with the nonatopic children (75.2 ± 18.2 vs 96.6 ± 21.4, p<0.05). If nPEFR is below 75 mL/min, the positive predict value in the patients of acute rhinosinusitis is 75.0% combined with allergic rhinitis (sensitivity 63.2%; specificity 85.7%). Streptococcus pneumoniae (29.0%), Haemophilus influenzae (20.3%), and Moraxella catarrhalis (17.4%) were the major isolated pathogens in this study. The prevalence of colonization with Staphylococcus aureus in the 69 participants with acute rhinosinusitis was 23.2%, and 15.9% for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA).

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the bacteriological properties of acute rhinosinusitis among children in Taiwan are the same as those in other parts of the world; however, the prevalence of colonization by MRSA was higher than among healthy children. Second, atopic children were more likely to develop acute rhinosinusitis than nonatopic children. Third, most Taiwanese children with acute rhinosinusitis complained of postnasal drip, nasal obstruction and cough. If a child suffering from acute rhinosinusitis complained of severe nasal obstruction (nPEFR≦75 mL/min), the doctor should be alerted to atopic conditions requiring further treatment. The issues dealt with in this study may require further research with a larger sample population over an extended period of time to verify these conclusions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Rhinitis / epidemiology
  • Rhinitis / immunology
  • Rhinitis / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / epidemiology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / physiopathology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / epidemiology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sinusitis / diagnosis*
  • Sinusitis / immunology
  • Skin Tests
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Taiwan / epidemiology