What is the definition of acute sinusitis?

Updated: Apr 22, 2020
  • Author: Ted L Tewfik, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Many classifications, both clinical and radiological, have been proposed in the literature to define acute sinusitis. [1] Although no consensus on the precise definition currently exists, acute sinusitis may be defined as a bacterial or viral infection of the sinuses of fewer than 4 weeks' duration that resolves completely with appropriate treatment. Subacute sinusitis represents a temporal progression of symptoms for 4-12 weeks. Recurrent acute sinusitis [2] is diagnosed when 2-4 episodes of infection occur per year with at least 8 weeks between episodes, and, as in acute sinusitis, the sinus mucosa completely normalizes between attacks. Chronic sinusitis is the persistence of insidious symptomatology beyond 12 weeks, with or without acute exacerbations, and is discussed in Sinusitis, Chronic, Medical Treatment. [3]

Air-fluid level (arrow) in the maxillary sinus sug Air-fluid level (arrow) in the maxillary sinus suggests sinusitis.

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