Correlation of clinical sinusitis signs and symptoms to imaging findings in pediatric patients

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1996 Sep;37(1):65-74. doi: 10.1016/0165-5876(96)01381-x.


The purpose of this study was to determine the correlation between signs and symptoms of upper respiratory tract disease and sinus images in a convenience sample of sixty pediatric patients scheduled for computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the head for non-sinus diagnoses over a 2-year period. The study was carried out in a tertiary pediatric referral center. Each patient underwent rhinoscopy and otoscopy just prior to imaging, and each patient's parent was asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding recent symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection; a blinded comparison was then made between respiratory signs and symptoms and images of the paranasal sinuses. Forty-seven percent of patients had abnormalities of their sinus images, and a significant (P < 0.05) correlation was found between the presence of absence of respiratory signs and symptoms and the presence or absence of abnormalities of sinus images, especially in younger patients. In conclusion, a large percentage of pediatric patients undergoing imaging procedures of the head for non-sinus diagnoses have sinus image abnormalities. In the population studied these imaging abnormalities appear to reflect ongoing or resolving upper respiratory tract viral or allergic inflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Paranasal Sinuses / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / complications
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sinusitis / complications
  • Sinusitis / diagnosis*
  • Sinusitis / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed