Severe Rhinosinusitis

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Abstract

Rhinosinusitis is diagnosed frequently in clinical practice, but the term may in fact encompass a wide spectrum of diseases. Inflammation of the nasal and sinus mucosa can arise from various causes and lead to different sequelae. Moreover, the term rhinosinusitis is more accurate than sinusitis. Causes range from a viral infection leading to the common cold to an invasive, fungal infection. An accurate diagnosis is important because effective therapy is available if recognized early and if specific therapy is used. Importantly, there is a close relationship between upper and lower airway disease and each have unique structural and functional differences that make an understanding of rhinosinusitis important not only for upper airway disease, but also for the management of asthma. All too often, rhinosinusitis becomes chronic and this becomes a challenge because medical therapy may not be sufficient to control disease. Finally, we should note that the differential diagnosis of rhinosinusitis is extensive and physicians should place heavy emphasis not only on the history, but also on appropriate imaging studies. A normal exam does not rule out the possibility of rhinosinusitis. Finally, we should emphasize that effective treatment is dependent on the etiology of the symptoms but also dependent on whether it is acute or chronic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-190
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003

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Keywords

  • Nasal and sinus anatomy
  • Respiratory disease
  • Rhinosinusitis
  • Upper airway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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