Imaging of Intracranial and Orbital Complications of Sinusitis and Atypical Sinus Infection: What the Radiologist Needs to Know

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2017 Nov-Dec;46(6):441-451. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2017.01.006. Epub 2017 Jan 18.


Sinusitis is a common disease. Complications, however, are less common and can be life threatening. Major complications occur from extension of disease into the orbit and intracranial compartment and often require emergent treatment with intravenous (IV) antibiotics or operative intervention. Immunocompromised patients with acute sinusitis are susceptible to atypical infections, such as invasive fungal sinusitis, which is a surgical emergency. Therefore, it is important to accurately and promptly identify potentional complications of acute sinusitis to ensure appropriate treatment and minimize negative outcomes. This article reviews the imaging features of a spectrum of complications associated with acute sinusitis and atypical infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Diseases / complications*
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Orbit / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbital Diseases / complications*
  • Orbital Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sinusitis / complications*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods