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Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2018 Nov;8(11):1342-1348. doi: 10.1002/alr.22205. Epub 2018 Sep 20.

Evaluating bone remodeling by measuring Hounsfield units in a rabbit model of rhinosinusitis: is it superior to measuring bone thickness?

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Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Key Laboratory of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China.
Beijing Institute of Otolaryngology, Beijing, China.
Department of Radiology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.



The traditional method of evaluating bone remodeling in chronic rhinosinusitis is to measure bone thickness. The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of measuring the computed tomography (CT) value in Hounsfield units (HU) as an method and explore whether it is superior to measuring bone thickness.


The study was a prospective animal trial. Twenty normal rabbits were included in the control group, and 60 rabbit models were inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus to induce rhinosinusitis. The rabbit models were divided into 3 groups according to the time of infection. All animals were euthanized after the CT exam. The samples were scored based on mucus and bone changes. The rabbits were divided into negative and positive groups according to whether bone remodeling was observed. We obtained diagnostic threshold values by measuring the bone thickness and HU of each rabbit's maxillary sinus and compared the values obtained using the 2 methods by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC).


The AUC for the measured bone thickness was 0.838, the diagnostic threshold was 1.165 mm. The AUC for the measured HU value was 0.937, the diagnostic threshold was 904.5. The correlation coefficients were r1 = 0.645 for the measured bone thickness and r2 = 0.797 for the HU measurement (r2 > r1 ; p < 0.01).


Evaluating bone remodeling is feasible by measuring either the bone wall thickness or the CT value. However, using CT to evaluate the sinus bones in rabbits with rhinosinusitis appears to be a more valuable option.


animal models; bone density change; computed tomography; histopathology; osteitis


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