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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2012 Aug;23 Suppl 22:27-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2012.01321.x.

Management of acute rhinosinusitis.

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Allergy Unit, A. Meyer Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini 24, Florence, Italy.


Acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) is one of the most common reasons for physician visits and for significant school absenteeism, although precise data on its prevalence and incidence are still lacking. RS is defined as acute if there are symptoms lasting <12 wk with complete resolution. Superinfection by bacteria following a viral infection is the most important mechanism of ARS. Diagnosis of ARS should be made on clinical grounds alone. Typically, acute bacterial RS is self-limited and goes through spontaneous recovery within 4 wk. Recognizing the occurrence of bacterial superinfections of the sinuses during a common viral respiratory infection is fundamental to making the decision to start an appropriate antibiotic treatment. Topical treatments such as saline irrigation, nasal decongestants, steroids, antihistamines, and fungicides are all in widespread pediatric use, but analyzing the literature gives poor evidence of efficacy, except for topical steroids. RS is a multifactorial condition that poses a diagnostic and management challenge to infectivologist and ear-nose-throat specialists as well as to pediatricians.

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