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J Biomed Opt. 2010 May-Jun;15(3):036011. doi: 10.1117/1.3431718.

Near-infrared imaging of the sinuses: preliminary evaluation of a new technology for diagnosing maxillary sinusitis.

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1
University of California at Irvine, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Beckman Laser Institute, 1002 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, California 92612, USA.

Abstract

Diagnosing sinusitis remains a challenge for primary care physicians. There is a need for a simple, office-based technique to aid in the diagnosis of sinusitis without the cost and radiation risk of conventional radiologic imaging. We designed a low-cost near-infrared (NIR) device to transilluminate the maxillary sinuses. The use of NIR light allows for greater interrogation of deep-tissue structures as compared to visible light. NIR imaging of 21 patients was performed and compared with computed tomography (CT) scans. Individual maxillary sinuses were scored on a scale from 0 to 2 based on their degree of aeration present on CT and similarly based on the NIR signal penetration into the maxilla on NIR images. Our results showed that air-filled and fluid/tissue-filled spaces can be reasonably distinguished by their differing NIR signal penetration patterns, with average NIR imaging scores for fluid-filled maxillary sinuses (0.93+/-0.78, n=29) significantly lower than those for normal maxillary sinuses (1.62+/-0.57, n=13) (p=0.003). NIR imaging of the sinuses is a simple, safe, and cost-effective modality that can potentially aid in the diagnosis of sinusitis. Long-term, significant device refinement and large clinical trials will be needed to determine the diagnostic accuracy of this technique.

PMID:
20615013
PMCID:
PMC2887912
DOI:
10.1117/1.3431718
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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