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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Antibiotics for acute rhinosinusitis in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (72nd percentile)

Mentioned by

2 blogs
22 tweeters
2 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page


25 Dimensions

Readers on

168 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
Antibiotics for acute rhinosinusitis in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006089.pub5
Pubmed ID

Marieke B Lemiengre, Mieke L van Driel, Dan Merenstein, Helena Liira, Marjukka Mäkelä, An IM De Sutter


Acute rhinosinusitis is an acute infection of the nasal passages and paranasal sinuses that lasts less than four weeks. Diagnosis of acute rhinosinusitis is generally based on clinical signs and symptoms in ambulatory care settings. Technical investigations are not routinely performed, nor are they recommended in most countries. Some trials show a trend in favour of antibiotics, but the balance of benefit versus harm is unclear.We merged two Cochrane Reviews for this update, which comprised different approaches with overlapping populations, resulting in different conclusions. For this review update, we maintained the distinction between populations diagnosed by clinical signs and symptoms, or imaging. To assess the effects of antibiotics versus placebo or no treatment in adults with acute rhinosinusitis in ambulatory care settings. We searched CENTRAL (2017, Issue 12), which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Specialised Register, MEDLINE (January 1950 to January 2018), Embase (January 1974 to January 2018), and two trials registers (January 2018). We also checked references from identified trials, systematic reviews, and relevant guidelines. Randomised controlled trials of antibiotics versus placebo or no treatment in people with rhinosinusitis-like signs or symptoms or sinusitis confirmed by imaging. Two review authors independently extracted data about cure and side effects and assessed the risk of bias. We contacted trial authors for additional information as required. We included 15 trials involving 3057 participants. Of the 15 included trials, 10 appeared in our 2012 review, and five (631 participants) are legacy trials from merging two reviews. No new studies were included from searches for this update. Overall, risk of bias was low. Without antibiotics, 46% of participants with rhinosinusitis, whether or not confirmed by radiography, were cured after 1 week and 64% after 14 days. Antibiotics can shorten time to cure, but only 5 to 11 more people per 100 will be cured faster if they receive antibiotics instead of placebo or no treatment: clinical diagnosis (odds ratio (OR) 1.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02 to 1.54; number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) 19, 95% CI 10 to 205; I² = 0%; 8 trials; high-quality evidence) and diagnosis confirmed by radiography (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.03 to 2.39; NNTB 10, 95% CI 5 to 136; I² = 0%; 3 trials; moderate-quality evidence). Cure rates with antibiotics were higher when a fluid level or total opacification in any sinus was found on computed tomography (OR 4.89, 95% CI 1.75 to 13.72; NNTB 4, 95% CI 2 to 15; 1 trial; moderate-quality evidence). Purulent secretion resolved faster with antibiotics (OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.22; NNTB 10, 95% CI 6 to 35; I² = 0%; 3 trials; high-quality evidence). However, 13 more people experienced side effects with antibiotics compared to placebo or no treatment (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.74 to 2.82; number needed to treat for an additional harmful outcome (NNTH) 8, 95% CI 6 to 12; I² = 16%; 10 trials; high-quality evidence). Five fewer people per 100 will experience clinical failure if they receive antibiotics instead of placebo or no treatment (Peto OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.63; NNTH 19, 95% CI 15 to 27; I² = 21%; 12 trials; high-quality evidence). A disease-related complication (brain abscess) occurred in one participant (of 3057) one week after receiving open antibiotic therapy (clinical failure, control group). The potential benefit of antibiotics to treat acute rhinosinusitis diagnosed either clinically (low risk of bias, high-quality evidence) or confirmed by imaging (low to unclear risk of bias, moderate-quality evidence) is marginal and needs to be seen in the context of the risk of adverse effects. Considering antibiotic resistance, and the very low incidence of serious complications, we conclude there is no place for antibiotics for people with uncomplicated acute rhinosinusitis. We could not draw conclusions about children, people with suppressed immune systems, and those with severe sinusitis, because these populations were not included in the available trials.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 22 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 168 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 168 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 27 16%
Student > Bachelor 26 15%
Student > Postgraduate 10 6%
Researcher 10 6%
Student > Doctoral Student 9 5%
Other 29 17%
Unknown 57 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 61 36%
Nursing and Health Professions 17 10%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 6 4%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 6 4%
Sports and Recreations 3 2%
Other 16 10%
Unknown 59 35%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 29. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 04 November 2019.
All research outputs
of 18,681,452 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,843 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 286,315 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 134 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 18,681,452 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 95th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,843 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 26.3. This one has done well, scoring higher than 81% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 286,315 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 134 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 72% of its contemporaries.