Rhinosinusitis causes

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Dima Nimri, M.D. [2]


The causes of rhinosinusitis can be divided according to the infectious group that causes it: bacterial, viral, and fungal.


Infectious Causes

Infectious causes of rhinosinusitis include viruses, bacteria, and fungi:[1][2]

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Obstructive sleep apnea
Chemical/Poisoning No underlying causes
Dental Eagle syndrome, infected tooth socket, tooth abscess
Dermatologic Chediak-Higashi syndrome, erythema annulare centrifugum, leukocytoclastic angiitis, lymphedema, scarlet fever, vasculitis hypersensitivity, yellow nail syndrome
Drug Side Effect Acetylcysteine, alfuzosin, antibiotic resistance, azelastine, azithromycin (ophthalmic), beclomethasone dipropionate (inhalation), bicalutamide, cefalexin, cefmenoxime, cefpodoxime, ciclesonide, cidofovir, cyclosporine injection, ezetimibe/simvastatin, faropenem, fluvastatin, lamotrigine, metronidazole topical, mifepristone, naproxen and esomeprazole magnesium, nuvaring, olopatadine, omalizumab, oxaprozin, pentamidine isethionate, pioglitazone, pirfenidone, salicylate sensitivity, secukinumab, serrapeptase, sertraline, sulfamethoxazole, sumatriptan, tamsulosin, topiramate, travoprost, zanamivir, zileuton
Ear Nose Throat Acute sinusitis, adenoid hypertrophy, catarrh, chronic fungal sinusitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, chronic sinusitis, concha bullosa, deviated nasal septum, Eagle syndrome, empty nose syndrome, eustachian tube dysfunction, maxillary sinus carcinoma, maxillofacial trauma, nasal bone spur, nasal congestion, nasal foreign body, nasal irrigation, nasal obstruction, nasal polyp, palatine tonsil, perforated eardrum, post-nasal drip, Pott's puffy tumor, rhinitis, rhinolith, rhinorrhea, vasomotor rhinitis
Endocrine Acromegaly, diabetes, exophthalmos
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic Acute pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, gastroesophageal reflux disease
Genetic Chediak-Higashi syndrome, cystic fibrosis, immotile cilia syndrome, Kartagener syndrome, primary ciliary dyskinesia, WHIM syndrome
Hematologic Acute erythroleukemia
Iatrogenic Computed tomography, cranial surgery, nasogastric intubation, sinus-lift procedure
Infectious Disease Acinetobacter, acute sinusitis, acute viral nasopharyngitis (common cold), adenovirus, aerosinusitis, aspergillosis, aspergillus, aureobasidium pullulans exposure, biofilm, botulinum toxin, brain abscess, chlamydia pneumoniae, chlamydophila pneumoniae, chronic fungal sinusitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, chronic sinusitis, cladosporiosis, common cold, coronavirus, coxsackievirus, diffuse panbronchiolitis, echovirus, encephalitozoon cuniculi infection, enterovirus, entomophthoramycosis, feline viral rhinotracheitis, fusarium, group A streptococcal infection, haemophilus influenzae, herpes simplex, HIV, immotile cilia syndrome, influenza virus, Kartagener syndrome, Lemierre's syndrome, microsporidiosis, moraxella catarrhalis, mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, mucormycosis, orbital cellulitis, orthomyxovirus, parainfluenza virus, paramyxovirus, periorbital cellulitis, pneumococcus, preseptal cellulitis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, pseudomonas aeruginosa, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinitis, rhinovirus, scarlet fever, scedosporium apiospermum, septic dural sinus thrombosis, staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus pneumoniae, streptococcus pyogenes, tooth abscess, upper respiratory tract infection, zygomycosis
Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic Penetrating wound
Neurologic Brain abscess, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fatigue (medical), meningismus, obstructive sleep apnea, septic dural sinus thrombosis
Nutritional/Metabolic Cystic fibrosis, food intolerance, food allergy, mucin
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic Acute erythroleukemia, maxillary sinus carcinoma, nasal type natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, Pott's puffy tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma
Ophthalmologic Orbital cellulitis, periorbital cellulitis, preseptal cellulitis
Overdose/Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric Chronic fatigue syndrome
Pulmonary Acute rhinitis, acute viral nasopharyngitis (common cold), asthma, catarrh, Churg-Strauss syndrome, common cold, cystic fibrosis, diffuse panbronchiolitis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, immotile cilia syndrome, Kartagener syndrome, nasal congestion, obstructive sleep apnea, post-nasal drip, primary ciliary dyskinesia, Samter's triad, sarcoidosis, upper respiratory tract infection, Wegener's granulomatosis, yellow nail syndrome, Young's syndrome
Renal/Electrolyte Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, Wegener's granulomatosis
Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy Acute rhinitis, allergic rhinitis, allergy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Churg-Strauss syndrome, common variable immunodeficiency, Felty's syndrome, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, hay fever, hyper IgM syndrome, IgG deficiency, immune deficiency disease, Immunoglobulin G subclass deficiency , Nasal type natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, Samter's triad, sarcoidosis, selective immunoglobulin A deficiency, Sjögren's syndrome, vasculitis hypersensitivity, Wegener's granulomatosis, WHIM syndrome, x-linked agammaglobulinemia
Sexual Young's syndrome
Trauma Maxillofacial trauma
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous No underlying causes

Causes in Alphabetical Order


  1. Brook I (2011). "Microbiology of sinusitis". Proc Am Thorac Soc. 8 (1): 90–100. doi:10.1513/pats.201006-038RN. PMID 21364226.
  2. deShazo RD, Chapin K, Swain RE (1997). "Fungal sinusitis". N. Engl. J. Med. 337 (4): 254–9. doi:10.1056/NEJM199707243370407. PMID 9227932.

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