June 1997

Clinical Significance of Asymptomatic Sinus Abnormalities on Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima, Japan.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123(6):602-604. doi:10.1001/archotol.1997.01900060044007

Objective:  To investigate the prevalence of abnormalities of the paranasal sinus detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in asymptomatic subjects.

Design:  Prospective study.

Setting:  Outpatient clinic.

Patients:  A total of 325 patients who underwent MRI for suspected intracranial disease. Of those, 257 patients lacked nasal or sinus symptoms.

Results:  Sinus abnormalities were seen on MRI in 153 (47.1%) of 325 patients, including 107 (41.6%) of the 257 asymptomatic patients. Subjects older than 50 years had a significantly higher frequency of sinus abnormalities on MRI (49.8%) vs those younger than 50 years (39.5%) (P<.05). The maxillary sinus abnormality was observed in 99 patients (38.5%) and the ethmoid sinus abnormality was observed in 52 (20.2%) (P<.01). The most common abnormality was mucosal thickening in the maxillary and ethmoid

Conclusion:  A high prevalence of sinus abnormalities was detected in asymptomatic subjects on MRI.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:602-604