The role of computed tomography scans in evaluating sinus disease in pediatric patients

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1999 Oct 15;50(1):63-8. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5876(99)00204-9.


Objectives: To determine the incidence and severity of sinus abnormalities in children undergoing computed tomography (CT) of the sinuses for suspected chronic sinusitis. To compare these findings with abnormalities noted on random CT scans.

Methods: Sixty CT scans, performed for evaluation of sinus disease in symptomatic children aged 2-12, were compared with 50 CT scans of children aged 2-12 of the orbits or sinuses obtained for indications other than sinusitis. A staging system was applied to assess the severity of abnormalities.

Results: Mucoperiosteal thickening was present in 60% of symptomatic and 46%, of random CT scans (logistic regression, P = 0.144). Children aged 2-4 and 9-12 had an increased prevalence of abnormalities in both groups, although these findings were not statistically significant (logistic regression, P = 0.817). Early stage sinus disease was present in the majority of random (96%) and symptomatic (85%) children.

Conclusions: There is a high incidence of mucoperiosteal thickening in the paranasal sinuses of children. CT scans of the sinuses should be obtained from children who are being considered for sinus surgery after failing the appropriate medical therapy. Decisions regarding the need for sinus surgery should not be solely based on imaging abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Paranasal Sinuses / abnormalities*
  • Paranasal Sinuses / diagnostic imaging*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sinusitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*