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J Endod. 2008 Mar;34(3):273-9. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2007.11.023. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

Accuracy of cone beam computed tomography and panoramic and periapical radiography for detection of apical periodontitis.

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  • 1Department of Oral Science, Federal University of Goiás, Goiânia, GO, Brazil.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of imaging methods for detection of apical periodontitis (AP). Imaging records from a consecutive sample of 888 imaging exams of patients with endodontic infection (1508 teeth), including cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and panoramic and periapical radiographs, were selected. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and accuracy of periapical and panoramic radiographs were calculated. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the panoramic and periapical images. Prevalence of AP was significantly higher with CBCT. Overall sensitivity was 0.55 and 0.28 for periapical and panoramic radiographs, respectively. ROC curves and area under curve (AUC) with periapical radiography showed a high accuracy for the cutoff value of 5 for both periapical (AUC, 0.90) and panoramic (AUC, 0.84) radiographs. AP was correctly identified with conventional methods when showed advanced status. CBCT was proved to be accurate to identify AP.

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