Pott's Puffy Tumor in Pediatric Patients: Case Series and Literature Review

Amir Klivitsky, Amir Erps, Asaf Regev, Liat Ashkenazi-Hoffnung, Li Tal Pratt, Galia Grisaru-Soen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pott's puffy tumor (PPT) is a rare complication of frontal sinusitis. Although it may occur at any age, the incidence is higher during adolescence. Methods: We report a series of 10 pediatric patients (9-17 years of age) who presented with PPT in 2 tertiary care pediatric hospitals in central Israel between January 2018 and August 2022 and review the published literature on pediatric PPT. Results: The most common clinical presentations included headache (10 cases), frontal swelling (6 cases) and fever (5 cases). Symptom duration before admission was between 1 and 28 days (median 10 days). The diagnosis of PPT was made by imaging studies at a median of 1 day after admission. All 10 patients underwent computed tomography studies, and 6 patients also underwent magnetic resonance imaging. The overall rate of intracranial complications was 70%. All 10 children were treated with systemic antibiotics and surgical interventions. Streptococcus constellatus group was the most common causal bacteria. All 10 patients recovered uneventfully. Conclusions: Our findings show that a high index of suspicion for PPT should be applied to adolescents presenting with prolonged headache and frontal swelling. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography is an appropriate first tool for the evaluation; however, an magnetic resonance imaging should be performed to determine the necessity of intracranial interventional treatments if there is any suspicion of intracranial involvement. Complete recovery can be expected with appropriate antibiotic treatment and surgical intervention in most of the cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-856
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Pott's puffy tumor
  • adolescents
  • children
  • frontal sinusitis
  • frontal subperiosteal abscess
  • osteomyelitis


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