Efficacy of Antibiotics in Children With Acute Sinusitis: Which Subgroups Benefit?

  • End date
    Sep 29, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Nader Shaikh
Updated on 23 February 2022
antibiotic therapy
amoxicillin-clavulanic acid
acute sinusitis


The objective of this trial is to determine whether certain subgroups of children with acute sinusitis exist in whom antibiotic therapy can be appropriately withheld.


The current clinical practice guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics for the Diagnosis and Management of Acute Bacterial Sinusitis recommends that the diagnosis of acute sinusitis is made when symptoms of an upper respiratory infection (URI) persist beyond 10 days without showing signs of improvement (persistent presentation), when symptoms appear to worsen (on the 6th to 10th day) after a period of improvement (worsening presentation), or when both high fever and purulent nasal discharge are present concurrently for at least 3 consecutive days (severe presentation). In studies to date, children with persistent and worsening presentations comprise >95% of cases. The investigators preliminary data and the available literature suggest that only a subset of children being diagnosed with acute sinusitis on the basis of current criteria are likely to have bacterial disease. This is not entirely surprising because current criteria rely solely on the duration and the quality of respiratory tract symptoms (which are both common and non-specific). Accordingly, it seems likely that many children currently being diagnosed as having acute sinusitis actually have an uncomplicated upper respiratory infection. This is important because acute sinusitis is one of the most common diagnoses for which antimicrobials are prescribed for children in the United States, accounting for 7.9 million prescriptions annually. A critical need thus exists to establish which subgroups of children currently being diagnosed with acute sinusitis actually benefit from antimicrobial therapy.

The objective of this trial is to determine whether certain subgroups of children with acute sinusitis exist in whom antibiotic therapy can be appropriately withheld. This objective will be achieved by conducting a large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in children 2 to 12 years of age with persistent or worsening presentations of acute sinusitis. Based on the investigators preliminary data, the investigators hypothesize that only certain subgroups of children currently being treated for acute sinusitis actually benefit from antimicrobial therapy. By identifying, in a large placebo-controlled trial, subgroups of children who respectively do and do not benefit from antimicrobial therapy, the investigators will be better able to determine which children should be classified as having acute bacterial sinusitis. Accordingly, the results of this trial may impact not only the treatment guidelines for acute sinusitis but also the diagnostic criteria, and will help ensure that, to the extent possible, antibiotic use is limited to appropriate patients. This, in turn, will maximize the likelihood of achieving optimal outcomes and minimize the risk of promoting antibiotic resistance.

Condition Sinusitis, Respiratory Tract Infections
Treatment Placebo, Amoxicillin-clavulanate
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02554383
SponsorNader Shaikh
Last Modified on23 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Meets criteria for "persistent" or "worsening" presentations of sinusitis
Baseline score 9 on the Pediatric Rhinosinusitis Symptom Scale

Exclusion Criteria

Severe presentation (3 days of colored nasal discharge and fever 39C
Asthma/allergic rhinitis explains symptoms
Allergy to amoxicillin-clavulanate
Immotile cilia syndrome
Cystic fibrosis
Parental inability to read/write English or Spanish
Other concurrent infection (e.g., pneumonia, acute otitis media, streptococcal pharyngitis)
Systemic toxicity
Wheezing on exam
Antibiotic use within 15 days
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note