How often is acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (RS) correctly diagnosed?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis is commonly overdiagnosed. In fact, acute bacterial rhinosinusitis is the correct diagnosis in only 40-50% of cases in which a primary care physician initially classifies a patient as likely having the condition. [31]

Although diagnostic criteria for acute rhinosinusitis have been proposed, [4] no single sign or symptom has strong diagnostic value for bacterial rhinosinusitis. [32] As noted, however, acute bacterial rhinosinusitis should be suspected in patients who exhibit symptoms of viral upper respiratory tract infection that do not improve after 10 days or that worsen after 5-7 days.

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