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Am J Med. 2010 Apr;123(4 Suppl):S16-25. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.02.003.

Upper respiratory infections.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 16508, USA.


It is estimated that >24 million cases of acute bacterial sinusitis occur annually in the United States. Recently, a number of medical societies have issued guidelines to aid in the management of upper respiratory tract infections (URIs). Although these guidelines serve to aid practitioners in the proper use of antibiotics, confusion remains regarding the disparity of guideline recommendations as well as some recommendations being outdated. This review presents 3 illustrative case studies designed to provide some clarity with regard to these guidelines. Case 1 is a typical presentation of a patient with worsening sinus conditions over the previous 2 weeks. Case 2 is a more challenging case of a patient with a sinus condition accompanied by a penicillin allergy that ultimately requires referral to an otolaryngologist. Case 3 is an atypical case with symptoms of a sinus infection accompanied by a normal sinus computed tomography scan. It is hoped that the presentation and discussion surrounding these cases will provide some helpful insights into the management of patients with URIs.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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