A Comparison of Near-Infrared Imaging and Computerized Tomography Scan for Detecting Maxillary Sinusitis

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2022 Oct;131(10):1144-1150. doi: 10.1177/00034894211060623. Epub 2021 Nov 26.


Objective: To investigate the use of near-infrared (NIR) imaging as a tool for outpatient clinicians to quickly and accurately assess for maxillary sinusitis and to characterize its accuracy compared to computerized tomography (CT) scan.

Methods: In a prospective investigational study, NIR and CT images from 65 patients who presented to a tertiary care rhinology clinic were compared to determine the sensitivity and specificity of NIR as an imaging modality.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of NIR imaging in distinguishing normal versus maxillary sinus disease was found to be 90% and 84%, normal versus mild maxillary sinus disease to be 76% and 91%, and mild versus severe maxillary sinus disease to be 96% and 81%, respectively. The average pixel intensity was also calculated and compared to the modified Lund-Mackay scores from CT scans to assess the ability of NIR imaging to stratify the severity of maxillary sinus disease. Average pixel intensity over a region of interest was significantly different (P < .001) between normal, mild, and severe disease, as well as when comparing normal versus mild (P < .001, 95% CI 42.22-105.39), normal versus severe (P < .001, 95% CI 119.43-174.14), and mild versus severe (P < .001, 95% CI 41.39-104.56) maxillary sinus disease.

Conclusion: Based on this data, NIR shows promise as a tool for identifying patients with potential maxillary sinus disease as well as providing information on severity of disease that may guide administration of appropriate treatments.

Keywords: CT scan; accuracy; average pixel intensity; maxillary sinusitis; near-infrared imaging; sensitivity; specificity.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hyperplasia
  • Maxillary Sinus / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxillary Sinusitis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sinusitis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed