Diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis


Gualtiero Leo, Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Pathophysiology Unit, Buzzi Children’s Hospital, Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento, Via Castelvetro 32, 20154 Milan, Italy.
Tel.: +390257995156
Fax: +390257995741
E-mail: gualtiero.leo@icp.mi.it


To cite this article: Leo G, Triulzi F, Incorvaia C. Diagnosis of chronic rhinosinusitis. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2012: 23 (Suppl. 22): 20–26.


Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a rather common disease in children, but its symptoms are often subtle and non-specific and this may result in overlooking a correct diagnosis. In turn, a missed diagnosis of CRS prevents a correct management to be performed and is associated with uneffective investigations and improper treatments. Actually, when CRS symptoms, which are mainly nasal congestion and obstruction, nasal discharge, facial pain, cough, and halitosis, are correctly assessed, the clinical diagnosis of CRS may be achieved, and confirmation may be obtained by imaging criteria or nasal fibroendoscopy. In imaging, computed tomography (CT) is the first choice technique for the evaluation of CRS and is able to provide an anatomic road map when surgery is required. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the sinuses, orbits, and brain should be performed whenever extensive or multiple complications of sinusitis are suspected. Also for middle ear disorders, CT is the first choice because it detects opacification of the middle ear cavity and mastoid cells, presence of fluids or debris, and allows the ossicular chain and the cortical bone of the mastoid to be evaluated. Another important diagnostic issue is the need to look for disorders that are frequently associated with CRS, such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), that has some recognized risk factors in adenotonsillar hypertrophy, craniofacial anomalies, obesity, and neuromuscular disorders. Other associated disorders requiring investigation are recurrent or persistent otitis media and difficult asthma.