ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Untreated sinusitis – the hidden enemy of the brain


Introduction. Sinusitis is caused by allergens, viruses, fungi or bacteria. The main signs of the disease are those of a common cold. Untreated sinusitis can lead to severe orbital or intracranial complications, such as brain abscess.
Case presentation. We present the case of a 52-year-old man who presented to the emergency department with aphasic speech disorders and headache persisting for two days. After computed tomography (CT) evaluation, the suspicion was raised of a brain abscess and subdural empyema, with the starting point in the paranasal sinus infection. The treatment included neurosurgery and broad-spectrum antibiotics continuously for 4 weeks. The aim of this case study is to underline the importance of properly administered treatment in chronic sinusitis and the severity of the complications that may occur.
Conclusions. Untreated sinusitis can lead to life-threatening complications, such as brain abscess
and subdural empyema, even though the symptoms are often ignored. For the complete diagnosis and further treatment, the use of CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is necessary.
Keywords: paranasal sinuses, sinusitis, intracranial abscess, empyema.


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Address for correspondence:
Eliza M. POPA
Clinical and Emergency Hospital, Brasov, Romania
Address: Principala Str., no.160, 137066, Dealu-Mare, Dambovita, Romania
Email:; Phone: 0725543933


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Sima I, Popa EM, Raicu L, Manea R. Untreated sinusitis – the hidden enemy of the brain. Arch Balk Med Union. 2021;56(3):376-382.