Many patients with rhinosinusitis are seen and managed by primary care physicians with limited access to advanced diagnostic tools. The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAC-HNS) had developed criteria for the clinical diagnosis of acute rhinosinusitis.


Major criteria:

(1) purulence in the nasal cavity

(2) facial pain, pressure, congestion and/or fullness

(3) nasal obstruction, blockage or discharge

(4) fever AND acute presentation

(5) hyposmia or anosmia


Minor criteria:

(1) headache

(2) fever AND subacute/chronic/nonacute presentation

(3) halitosis

(4) fatigue

(5) dental pain

(6) cough

(7) ear pain and fullness


The diagnosis of acute rhinosinusitis can be made based on at least one of the following:

(1) >= 2 major criteria

(2) 1 major and >= 2 minor criteria


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