Facial pain: sinus or not?

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De Corso E., Kar M., Cantone E., Lucidi D., Settimi S., Mele D., ...More

ACTA OTORHINOLARYNGOLOGICA ITALICA, vol.38, no.6, pp.485-496, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.14639/0392-100x-1721
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.485-496
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Facial pain remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for both clinicians and patients. In clinical practice, patients suffering from facial pain generally undergo multiple repeated consultations with different specialists and receive various treatments, including surgery. Many patients, as well as their primary care physicians, mistakenly attribute their pain as being due to rhinosinusitis when this is not the case. It is important to exclude non-sinus-related causes of facial pain before considering sinus surgery to avoid inappropriate treatment. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of patients have persistent facial pain after endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) due to erroneous considerations on aetiology of facial pain by physicians. It should be taken into account that neurological and sinus diseases may share overlapping symptoms, but they frequently co-exist as comorbidities. The aim of this review was to clarify the diagnostic criteria of facial pain in order to improve discrimination between sinogenic and non-sinogenic facial pain and provide some clinical and diagnostic criteria that may help clinicians in addressing differential diagnosis.