Management of superior subperiosteal orbital abscess

Haim Gavriel, Basel Jabrin, Ephraim Eviatar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A superior subperiosteal orbital abscess (SSPOA) is a collection of purulent material between the periorbit and the superior bony orbital wall, and is typically a complication of frontal sinusitis. SSPOA is characteristically managed by classic external surgical drainage. The aim of our study was to assess the role of surgical intervention in SSPOA. A retrospective medical chart review of patients diagnosed with SSPOA secondary to rhinosinusitis between the year 2005 and 2013 was conducted. Collected data included age, gender, co-morbidity, clinical presentation, prior antibiotic management, CT scans, surgical approach, outcome and complications. Six patients were included in our study, three males and three females with a mean age of 22.8 (range 9–58). Two patients were treated with amoxicillin clavulanic acid for 3 days prior to admission. Only the youngest patient with the smallest abscess responded successfully to conservative treatment, while the rest were managed surgically: three patients were treated successfully by the endonasal endoscopic approach and two patients were treated by utilizing the combined endonasal endoscopic and external approach. In patients who underwent the combined approach, the abscess was located in a more antero-lateral position than those treated endonasal endoscopically only. The location of a SSPOA dictates the surgical approach. The most antero-lateral SSPOAs should be drained by the combined approach, while more posterior abscesses should be approached endoscopically. Furthermore, a small SSPOA is first to be reported to resolve with conservative treatment. Level 4 (case series).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • CT scan
  • Endoscopy
  • Management
  • Sinusitis
  • Subperiosteal orbital abscess
  • Superior
  • Surgical treatment


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