How is acute sinusitis differentiated from other conditions with similar symptoms?

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

Acute sinusitis is a clinical diagnosis; thus, an understanding of its presentation is of paramount importance in differentiating this entity from allergic or vasomotor rhinitis and common URTIs. No specific clinical symptom or sign is sensitive or specific for acute sinusitis, so the overall clinical impression should be used to guide management. A history of purulent secretions and facial or dental pain are specific symptoms that may point to a bacterial etiology. In a patient in intensive care, acute sinusitis should be suspected in the presence of sepsis of unknown origin.


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