Intended for healthcare professionals

General Practice

Predicting acute maxillary sinusitis in a general practice population

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 22 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:233
  1. Jens Georg Hansen, general practitionera,
  2. Henrik Schmidt, general practitionera,
  3. Jorn Rosborg, general practitionerb,
  4. Elisabeth Lund, chief physicianc
  1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Aalborg County Hospital, Aalborg
  2. Department of Neuroradiology, Aalborg County Hospital
  1. Correspondence and requests for reprints to: Dr Hansen.
  • Accepted 22 June 1995


Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic value of symptoms, signs, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C reactive protein for acute maxillary sinusitis.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Danish general practice in cooperation with the otorhinolaryngology and neuroradiology department at Aalborg County Hospital.

Subjects: 174 patients aged 18-65 years who were suspected by the general practitioner of having acute maxillary sinusitis.

>Main outcome measure: The independent association of symptoms, signs, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and concentration of C reactive protein in patients with acute maxillary sinusitis defined as purulent or mucopurulent antral aspirate.

Results: Only raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate (P=0.01) and raised C reactive protein (P=0.007) were found to be independently associated with a diagnosis of acute maxillary sinusitis. The combination of the two variables had a sensitivity of 0.82 and a specificity of 0.57.

Conclusion: Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C reactive protein are useful diagnostic criteria for acute maxillary sinusitis.


  • Funding This study was supported by the general practitioners' foundation for education and development, the Danish Medical Research Council (grant No 93008), and the Lundbaek Foundation.

  • Conflict of interest None

  • Accepted 22 June 1995
View Full Text