Abstract

Orbital infection complicating sinonasal inflammatory disorders may lead to serious sequelae, including blindness and death, if untreated. Communication between the otorhinolaryngologist, neuroradiologist, ophtalmologist, neurosurgeon and maxillo-facial surgeon is critical and time-sensitive for a successful treatment. The large majority of pre-septal cellulitis cases resolves after broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy. Also orbital cellulitis has been found responsive to pharmacological approach in most cases. The management of the subperiosteal abscess (SPA) is more controversial. An aggressive surgical approach is always recommended also in case of cavernous sinus thrombosis. In cases of surgical indication, debate is still open on the timing and the approach (endoscopic or external). The surgeon should be prepared to convert an endoscopic approach to an external one if needed and this should be included in the informed consent. Decompression of one or more orbital walls may be necessary if orbital pressure remains elevated. Immediate surgery is indicated in children with large SPA or orbital abscesses (OA), or in immune-compromised patients. Moreover, any worsening in the ophthalmological function must be carefully considered as a landmark in candidacy to surgery.