Pediatric frontal sinus fractures: outcomes and treatment algorithm

Anthony T. Vu, Parit A. Patel, Wendy Chen, Matthew Wilkening, Christopher B. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Pediatric frontal sinus fractures are a rare clinical entity. Owing to the large amount of force required to fracture the frontal sinus, it is often associated with severe intracranial and craniofacial injuries. The treatment of frontal sinus fractures is controversial, with many different established algorithms based mainly on the adult population. The authors present their experience with pediatric frontal sinus fractures; they also present a treatment algorithm. A retrospective review of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center trauma database was performed. From 1998 to 2010, the authors identified patients between the ages of 0 and 18 with frontal sinus fractures and analyzed demographics, fracture pattern, associated injuries, methods of treatment, and complications. Descriptive statistics and univariate analyses were performed.A total of 39 patients were included in the study with a mean follow-up of 31.2 months. Fractures of the anterior and posterior table with displacement greater than one table width were significantly associated with higher hospital costs, higher velocity mechanism of injuries, lower Glasgow Coma Scale scores, nasofrontal outflow tract (NFOT) involvement, and cerebrospinal fluid leak. There were no differences in short- and long-term complications. Additionally, these patients were more likely to be treated surgically in the form of obliteration or cranialization.Patients without NFOT involvement can be managed with observation only. Patients with NFOT involvement or persistent cerebrospinal fluid leak should be treated with obliteration or cranialization, respectively, to reduce the risk of severe complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-781
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of craniofacial surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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