Pott Puffy Tumor in Children: A Rare Emergency Clinical Entity

J Craniofac Surg. 2016 May;27(3):e313-6. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000002573.


Objectives: Pott puffy tumor (PPT) is defined as soft tissue swelling of the forehead due to subperiosteal edema, accumulation of pus, or granulation tissue. It is associated with osteomyelitis of frontal bone secondary to frontal sinusitis. Pott puffy tumor can be complicated by preseptal and orbital cellulitis and intracranial infection.

Methods: Six patients diagnosed with and treated for PPT in Pediatric Clinic of Uludag University Faculty of Medicine from 2010 to 2015 were reviewed retrospectively. Age, sex, presenting symptoms and signs, laboratory and radiological findings, as well as intracranial complications and treatment modalities of all patients were evaluated.

Results: The authors present 6 pediatric patients of PPT, 5 males and 1 female with a mean age of 11 years (age range, 7-18 years). All patients presented with headache, fever, and tender frontal swelling. Two of the patients had epidural abscess and 1 had preseptal orbital cellulitis in addition to PPT. All of them had computed tomography scan and/or magnetic resonance imaging. Endoscopic sinus surgery was performed in 4 patients and 2 patients underwent neurosurgical intervention with antibiotherapy.

Conclusions: Pott puffy tumor may be associated with potentially dangerous intracranial complications. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to reduce morbidity and mortality. Imaging plays an important role in the diagnosis of the disease and the detection of its complications.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Emergencies*
  • Endoscopy / adverse effects
  • Epidural Abscess / diagnosis
  • Epidural Abscess / surgery
  • Female
  • Frontal Bone / pathology
  • Frontal Bone / surgery
  • Frontal Sinusitis / complications
  • Frontal Sinusitis / surgery
  • Head Injuries, Closed / complications
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Paranasal Sinuses / surgery
  • Pott Puffy Tumor / diagnosis
  • Pott Puffy Tumor / surgery*
  • Rare Diseases*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / adverse effects