Rapidly Progressive Complicated Acute Bacterial Sinusitis in the Setting of Severe Pediatric SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2022 Oct;131(10):1158-1163. doi: 10.1177/00034894211055337. Epub 2021 Oct 27.


Objective: This case report presents a case of a rapidly progressive complicated sinus infection in a child with the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.

Methods: Case report with literature review.

Results/case report: We present a novel case of severe rapidly progressive complicated sinusitis in a 14-year-old African American male diagnosed with the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. Infection was caused by an aggressive pathogen, Streptococcus intermedius (anginosus), and within 48 hours progressed to orbital, subgaleal, and intracranial abscess, requiring multidisciplinary intervention by ophthalmology, neurosurgery, and otolaryngology. Following surgical intervention and a 4-week course of intravenous antibiotic therapy, the patient had resolution of the infection with no neurologic sequelae.

Conclusion: Despite the low incidence of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, physicians should be aware that immunologic changes and the cytokine storm induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 can potentially predispose patients to severe bacterial or opportunistic infections. As more cases of MIS-C develop, associated complications can become evident. Similar cases of SARS-CoV-2 and severe bacterial sinusitis have been published in the literature, but it remains unclear if there is an association between SARS-CoV-2 disease and an increased risk of complicated sinusitis in children.

Keywords: MIS-C; SARS-CoV-2; Streptococcus anginosus; acute sinusitis; covid-19; multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Bacterial Infections*
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Male
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sinusitis* / complications
  • Sinusitis* / diagnosis
  • Sinusitis* / microbiology
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Supplementary concepts

  • pediatric multisystem inflammatory disease, COVID-19 related