Clinical significance of paranasal sinuses and its anatomical variations using 3D cone beam computed tomography: a retrospective study

Saraswathi Gopal, Madhu Preetha


Background: Paranasal sinuses are a group of four paired air filled spaces surrounding the nasal cavity. During the developmental process, anatomical variations can occur in consequence of intra and extramural migration of the ethmoidal air cells, over pneumatization or hypoplasia of the sinuses and bulging of the neurovascular structures to the sinuses, thereby affecting the drainage pathways, causing chronic infections and complications during functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). The aim of the study was to study the clinical significance of paranasal sinuses and it’s anatomical variations using CBCT.

Methods: A retrospective study was carried out at Meenakshi Ammal Dental College, Chennai, from June 2018 to November 2018 using 100 CBCT images of 50 males and 50 females, with their age group ranging from18-60 years. Radiographic assessment of paranasal sinuses and it’s variations were accurately characterized using customized Planmeca Romexis software and the data was analysed statistically.  

Results: It is found that agar nasi cells were found to be higher 79% followed by Kuhn cells 45%, onodi cells 23% and haller cells 12%. Concha bullosa was found in 39%. Nasal septum was deviated to right in 31% and to the left in 36%. Maxillary sinus septa in 21%, sphenoid sinus pneumatization in 23%,maxillary sinus pneumatization in 2%, and crista galli pneumatization in 7% of the study population. And the results based on gender, the p value is found to be highly significant.

Conclusions: CBCT is the best tool for imaging the paranasal sinuses including osteo meatal complex, due to its high quality bone definition, thin slicing, multi planar cross-sectioning and low patient dosage.


Cone beam computed tomography, Paranasal sinuses, Anatomic variations

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