Cross-sectional survey of paranasal sinus magnetic resonance imaging findings in schoolchildren

Acta Paediatr. 2003;92(1):34-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2003.tb00465.x.


Aim: Sinus image abnormalities are common among children examined for indications other than sinus disease. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of sinus abnormalities among otherwise healthy children attending school.

Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed on 24 children aged 8-9 y, 18 of whom were re-examined after 6-7 mo.

Results: Sinus abnormalities were common. An abnormality was seen in 12 of the children [50%, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 29-71%], and 9 (38%, 95% CI 19-59%) had abnormalities in the maxillary sinuses. As many as 8 (42%, 95% CI 20-67%) of the asymptomatic children (lacking clinical symptoms or findings) had abnormalities in the maxillary or ethmoidal sinuses. The follow-up examination showed that about half of the abnormal sinus MRI findings had resolved or improved without any intervention.

Conclusion: Abnormal sinus MRI findings are common both among otherwise healthy children attending school and in totally asymptomatic children. As incidental findings, these should be interpreted as normal and do not indicate any need for treatment in children imaged for purposes other than sinus disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethmoid Sinusitis / epidemiology
  • Ethmoid Sinusitis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / epidemiology
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / pathology*
  • Prevalence