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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Occurrence of maxillary sinus abnormalities detected by cone beam CT in asymptomatic patients

Inara Carneiro Costa Rege13, Thiago Oliveira Sousa23, Cláudio Rodrigues Leles23 and Elismauro Francisco Mendonça234*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Oral Medicine, Dental School, Paulista University, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil

2 Department of Stomatology (Oral Pathology), Dental School, Federal University of Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil

3 School of Dentistry, Federal University of Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil

4 Praça Universitária S/N. Setor Universitário, CEP 74605-220, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil

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Citation and License

BMC Oral Health 2012, 12:30  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-12-30

Published: 10 August 2012



Although cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images of the maxillofacial region allow the inspection of the entire volume of the maxillary sinus (MS), identifying anatomic variations and abnormalities in the image volume, this is frequently neglected by oral radiologists when interpreting images of areas at a distance from the dentoalveolar region, such as the full anatomical aspect of the MS. The aim of this study was to investigate maxillary sinus abnormalities in asymptomatic patients by using CBCT.


1113 CBCT were evaluated by two examiners and identification of abnormalities, the presence of periapical lesions and proximity to the lower sinus wall were recorded. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square tests and Kappa statistics.


Abnormalities were diagnosed in 68.2% of cases (kappa = 0.83). There was a significant difference between genders (p < 0.001) and there was no difference in age groups. Mucosal thickening was the most prevalent abnormality (66%), followed by retention cysts (10.1%) and opacification (7.8%). No association was observed between the proximity of periapical lesions and the presence and type of inflammatory abnormalities (p = 0.124).


Abnormalities in maxillary sinus emphasizes how important it is for the dentomaxillofacial radiologist to undertake an interpretation of the whole volume of CBCT images.

Maxillary sinus; Cone beam computed tomography; Abnormality