Orbital cellulitis with a subperiosteal abscess

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle


Left sided orbital cellulitis. Unable to open eye fully.

Patient Data

Age: 11 years
Gender: Male

Extensive opacification of all of the left paranasal sinuses with obilteration of the left osteomeatal complex.

Elliptical left subperisoteal collection adjacent to the ethmoid sinuses with displacement of the medial rectus muscle.

No bony destruction at the collection site.  No intracranial extension.

Case Discussion

Imaging of the orbits, paranasal sinuses and brain ( ideally with contrast ) is a very important radiological emergency in selected patients, typically children, with orbital cellulitis.

The scan has three chief purposes:

1.  Is there a subperiosteal collection?

2.  It there any intracranial extension?

3.  Is there underlying severe sinusitis?

This case shows the typical 'positive' scan - a subperiosteal collection, which warrants prompt treatment to prevent any threat to vision.

Emergency fiber optic endoscopic surgery was performed - pus drained from the maxillary and ethmoidal sinuses.

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Case information

rID: 42889
Published: 17th Feb 2016
Last edited: 15th Dec 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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