Potts puffy tumour: a rare but important diagnosis

Ibtisam Hasan, Stephanie F. Smith, Amy Hammond-Kenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Potts puffy tumour (PPT) is a subperiosteal abscess arising from frontal bone osteomyelitis. We present a case of a 75-year-old lady with headache and a forehead swelling who was initially treated for sinusitis and giant cell arteritis in a primary care setting, but failed to improve. Following clinical deterioration and further investigation, CT appearances were consistent with a diagnosis of PPT and an extra-axial collection. Needle decompression, frontal trephine and endoscopic frontal sinusotomy were performed and intraoperative swabs cultured Streptococcus constellatus PPT is an unusual clinical entity that benefits from prompt antibiotic and surgical management, and therefore early recognition is paramount. We highlight that PPT should be a differential diagnosis in all patients presenting with forehead or frontal swelling. Use of radiological imaging (CT/MRI) is necessary to not only confirm a diagnosis of PPT but to identify further intracranial complications, which can be life-threatening.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberrjz099
JournalJournal of Surgical Case Reports
Issue number4
Early online date3 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Cite this