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Kulak Burun Bogaz Ihtis Derg. 2009 Jul-Aug;19(4):184-91.

Preoperative evaluation of chronic rhinosinusitis patients by conventional radiographies, computed tomography and nasal endoscopy.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Medicine Faculty of Uludağ University, Bursa, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of conventional radiography (CR), computed tomography (CT) and nasal endoscopy for the preoperative evaluation of chronic rhinosinusitis in patients with persistent complaints despite appropriate medical therapy.


Forty-three patients (26 males, 17 females; mean age 43 years; range 15 to 73 years) were prospectively evaluated. All patients underwent detailed physical examination, CR and coronal high resolution CT of paranasal sinuses. Thirty of them were evaluated with detailed nasal rigid and/or flexible endoscopy as well. The anatomic variations and mucosal changes in paranasal sinuses were noted. The specificity and sensitivity of CR was calculated using CT findings as a reference point. Surgery was performed on two of the other three patients because of obstructive symptoms of middle turbinate. Paradoxal middle turbinate surgery was performed on one patient due to a headache of rhinogenic origin.


In our study 40 (93%) of all patients showed mucosal abnormalities on CT. Computed tomography scanning of the patients revealed anatomic variations in 74.4% of the cases. Mucosal pathology was most frequently observed in the anterior ethmoid region (middle meatus). While we found mucosal anomalies in 47.4% of all sinuses using CR, 42.2% of these cases were confirmed with CT. Also, 19.5% of all sinuses evaluated as normal with CR presented pathologic findings on CT. An overall correlation of 75.3% was observed between CR and CT, while diagnostic nasal endoscopy and CT findings were correlated at a rate of 87%.


(i) While no ipsilateral maxillary or frontal sinus disease was detected when no abnormality in the anterior ethmoid region and infundibulum was observed endoscopically in the presence of mucosal abnormalities similar abnormalities were seen at the same side for maxillary or frontal sinuses. (ii) Anatomic variations of nasal and paranasal sinuses may be considered as etiologic and predisposing factors of chronic rhinosinusitis. (iii) Conventional radiography should not be used as a single diagnostic tool in preoperative evaluation; however, due to its high sensitivity, CR technique may be used alone in the diagnosis and follow-up of maxillary sinus disease. (iv) Nasal endoscopy may reduce unnecessary diagnostic CT scanning procedures.

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