Antral computerized tomography pre-operative evaluation: Relationship between mucosal thickening and maxillary sinus function

Guy Carmeli, Zvi Artzi*, Avital Kozlovsky, Yoram Segev, Roee Landsberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess the correlation between maxillary sinus inferior mucosal thickening and sinus outflow obstruction. Material and methods: The study included 280 computerized tomography (CT) scans (560 maxillary sinuses). CT aimed to assess sinusitis; trauma to the face and intubated patients were excluded. Mucosal thickening was graded as <5 mm (1), <10 mm (2), <15 mm (3), <20 mm (4) and >20 mm (5), and classified by appearance as normal, rounded, circumferential, irregular, or complete. Maxillary sinus outflow was classified as patent or obstructed. Results: Mucosal thickening was found in 36.1% of the maxillary sinuses, graded as 31.2% (1), 34.2% (2), 12.9% (3), 5.4% (4) and 16.3% (5), and classified as rounded (11.8%), irregular (10.4%), circumferential (8.8%) and complete (5.2%). Sinus outflow was obstructed in 15% of the scans. Mucosal thickening of <5 mm (11.1%), <10 mm (36.2%) and >10 mm (74.3%) was associated with sinus obstruction (P<0.0001). Rounded (6.1%), circumferential (55.2%), irregular (38.8%) and complete (100%) mucosal appearances were associated with sinus obstruction (P<0.001). When statistically combined, a substantial risk for sinus obstruction was observed with irregular mucosal appearance of >5 mm (56.5% for grade 2 up to 82.6% for grades 3-5) and circumferential appearance (21.4% for grade 1 up to 100% for grades 3-5). A low risk for obstruction was found with the rounded appearance (mean 6.1%). Conclusions: Irregular (>5 mm), circumferential and complete mucosal appearance are associated with an increased risk for sinus outflow obstruction and an ENT consultation is recommended. A rounded mucosal appearance of any grade is associated with a low risk for sinus obstruction. Routine CT scans, including the maxillary sinus ostium, are recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-82
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Oral Implants Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Computerized tomography
  • Maxillary sinus
  • Mucosal thickening
  • Sinus augmentation
  • Sinusitis


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