Rhinosinusitis classification

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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]


Rhinosinusitis can be classified based on the location of sinus involved, the duration of the disease, or its etiology.


By Location

There are several paired paranasal sinuses, including the frontal, ethmoid, maxillary and sphenoid sinuses. Rhinosinusitis can be classified by the sinus cavity that is affected:[1][2][3]

By Duration and Etiology

Based on the duration and etiology of symptoms, rhinosinusitis may be classified into:[4][5][6]

  • Acute (symptoms lasting less than four weeks)
    • Acute Viral Rhinosinusitis
    • Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis
    • Recurrent Acute Rhinosinusitis (more than 3 episodes of acute rhinosinusitis in a year for at least 7-10 days without persistent symptoms in between the episodes)
  • Subacute (symptoms lasting 4-12 weeks) or
  • Chronic (symptoms lasting 12 or more weeks)
    • Chronic Sinusitis with Nasal Polyposis
    • Chronic Sinusitis without Nasal Polyposis
    • Allergic Fungal Sinusitis


  1. World Health Organization International Classification of Disease (2016) http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2016/en#/J01 Accessed on September 22, 2016.
  2. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (2014) https://www.aaaai.org/Aaaai/media/MediaLibrary/PDF%20Documents/Practice%20Management/finances-coding/sinus-disease-codes-ICD10.pdf Accessed on September 22, 2016.
  3. Mandell, Gerald; Douglas, R.Gordon; Bennett, John (1985). Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease. USA: A Wiley Medical Publication. p. 370. ISBN 0471876437.
  4. Rosenfeld RM (2016). "CLINICAL PRACTICE. Acute Sinusitis in Adults". N Engl J Med. 375 (10): 962–70. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp1601749. PMID 27602668.
  5. Eli O. Meltzer & Daniel L. Hamilos (2011). "Rhinosinusitis diagnosis and management for the clinician: a synopsis of recent consensus guidelines". Mayo Clinic proceedings. 86 (5): 427–443. doi:10.4065/mcp.2010.0392. PMID 21490181. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  6. Mohamad Z Saltagi & Brett T Comer & Samuel Hughes & Jonathan Y Ting & Thomas S Higgins (2020). "Diagnostic Criteria of Recurrent Acute Rhinosinusitis: A Systematic Review". American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. doi:10.1177/1945892420956871. PMID 32954839 Check |pmid= value (help). Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Text " online ahead of print " ignored (help)

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