The association between paranasal computerized tomography scans and symptoms and signs in a general practice population with acute maxillary sinusitis

APMIS. 2011 Jan;119(1):44-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2010.02690.x. Epub 2010 Oct 25.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between changes revealed by computerized tomography scan (CT) and symptoms, signs, and bacteriological diagnoses in a general practice population who had been diagnosed with acute maxillary sinusitis (AMS). This study was designed as a prospective cohort study in Danish general practice in cooperation with the otorhinolaryngology and neuroradiology departments at Aalborg County Hospital. One hundred and seventy-four patients, aged 18-65 years, suspected of having AMS were included. The strongest associations were with purulent nasal discharge, preceding upper respiratory tract infection, maxillary toothache and oedema over the maxillary sinuses. Self-reported previous sinusitis was negatively associated with sinus infection. There was a strong association between increasing values of C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate and changes on the CT scan. CT scans contributed only little to the final diagnosis, whereas increased CRP values and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rates were more reliable indicators of inflammation in the sinuses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Female
  • General Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / blood
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / microbiology
  • Maxillary Sinusitis / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Young Adult


  • C-Reactive Protein