Conventional sinus radiography compared with CT in the diagnosis of acute sinusitis

Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2003 Jan;32(1):60-2. doi: 10.1259/dmfr/65139094.


Objectives: To evaluate the value of plain film radiography in a prospective investigation of patients with clinical suspicion of acute sinusitis, using standard CT as a gold standard.

Methods: 47 consecutive patients were examined. Each patient underwent conventional X-ray and standard dose CT examinations on the same day. The sensitivity and specificity of the plain film examination were calculated.

Results: The specificity of the plain film examination was high, but the sensitivity was low except for the maxillary sinus (sensitivity 80%). Thus, for maxillary sinusitis, plain film examination was reasonably accurate. A negative finding in the other sinuses could not be relied upon.

Conclusions: The sensitivity of plain film radiography for detecting sinus opacifications was unacceptably low for the ethmoid, frontal and sphenoid sinuses. The specificity was high.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Paranasal Sinuses / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sinusitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed