Subdural empyema complicating sinusitis

E. Saiag, D. Steir, M. Michowitz, G. Horev, B. Garty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paranasal sinusitis complicated by subdural empyema (SDE) in a 14-year-old boy is described. He presented with fever, headache and vomiting. X-rays revealed left maxillary and bilateral frontal sinusitis. While in the emergency room he had seizures; CT-scan showed an air leak adjacent to the right frontal sinus. Despite intravenous antibiotics, left hemiparesis developed and repeat CT showed interhemispheric SDE. Frontal craniotomy was performed and a large amount of purulent material was drained. Recovery followed 4 weeks of intravenous antibiotic treatment without neurologic sequelae. SDE is a rare complication of paranasal sinusitis and constitutes approximately 20% of all localized intracranial infections. Clinical features include fever, headache, vomiting, convulsions and neurologic deficits. Modern imaging methods and combined surgical and antibiotic treatment have lowered mortality to 5-10%. A high index of suspicion is important for early diagnosis and successful treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-385, 427
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1994
Externally publishedYes


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