BACKGROUND: Maxillary sinus pathology is a common finding on routine CT scans of the head and neck. The purpose of this study was to assess the incidental findings in the maxillary sinus on CT scans in patients who presented for head and neck CT angiography.
STUDY DESIGN: Images of patients referred for head and neck CT angiography were reviewed over a 5-month period. All maxillary sinus incidental findings were recorded and categorised into mucosal thickening, polypoid mucosal thickening, partial and total opacification. The age and gender of the patients and the side of mucosal pathology was also recorded.
RESULTS: A total of 262 CT scans were reviewed (524 maxillary sinuses). Seventy-two patients had pathological changes (27.5%), 44 (16.8%) had mucosal thickening, 20 (8.0%) had polypoid thickening, 6 (2.3%) had partial and another 7 (2.7%) had complete opacification.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a high rate of undiagnosed maxillary sinus pathology incidentally found on CT scans. Clinicians reviewing head and neck CT scans such as dentists, general medical practitioners, maxillofacial and ENT surgeons should be vigilant and aware of maxillary sinus disease when interpreting CT scans of the maxilla and patients should be followed up appropriately.