BACKGROUND: Isolated pediatric sphenoidal sinusitis is an uncommon disorder with sphenoiditis more commonly found as part of pansinusitis. Recognizing the condition on history and examination alone is difficult and delayed diagnosis many occur in many cases. Nasal endoscopy, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are essential adjuncts to confirm diagnosis. This study was designed to confirm the clinical features and diagnostic difficulties associated with isolated sphenoidal sinusitis in children. METHODS: A 16-year review was performed of cases diagnosed and treated in a tertiary teaching hospital. RESULTS: Two different groups of patients were identified. One group presented with fever and headache, frequently associated with neurological complications. Swimming and/or diving could be identified as possible causative agents. The second group presented with headache alone and a less severe clinical presentation. CONCLUSION: Isolated pediatric sphenoidal sinusitis may be more prevalent than was previously thought with CT/MRI helping establish the diagnosis in many cases. Pediatricians should be aware of this unusual but still potentially devastating condition. A nasal endoscopy is a useful diagnostic tool in this patient group, being noninvasive and well tolerated in children and adolescents
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