Subperiosteal abscess of the orbit

Subperiosteal abscess of the orbit occurs as a complication of acute sinusitis.

Clinical presentation

Patients can present with pain, visual disturbance, proptosis and/or chemosis.


Bacteria can extend via neurovascular foramina or bony dehiscences. More commonly occurs from ethmoidal sinusitis, extending into the orbit via the lamina papyracea but can also occur secondary to frontal sinusitis.

Radiographic features

  • low density collection in a juxta-osseous location adjacent to a sinus with features of sinusitis 
  • may not enhance peripherally


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