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J Child Neurol. 2001 Dec;16(12):882-4.

Sphenoid sinusitis masquerading as migraine headaches in children.

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Department of Neurology, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, 77030, USA.


The sphenoid sinus is often referred to as the "neglected sinus." Isolated sphenoid sinusitis is a rare disease with potentially devastating complications. It occurs at an incidence of about 2.7% of all sinus infections. Although headache is the most common presenting symptom, there is no typical headache pattern. Three cases of children with isolated sphenoid sinusitis presenting with acute, subacute, and chronic headache symptoms are presented. The sensory innervation of the sphenoid sinus is derived from the ophthalmic and maxillary branches of the trigeminal nerve, which may explain the pathophysiology of the headache, similar to the trigeminovascular pain theory of migraine. There are few reports on sphenoid sinusitis and headache; however, modern neuroimaging has made this probably under-recognized disorder easier to diagnose and treat. Although the diagnosis can be difficult to differentiate from migraine headache, early and appropriate treatment usually results in an excellent outcome without morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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