The majority of textbooks dealing with diseases of the nasal accessory sinuses affirm or concede that transillumination is a more or less valuable diagnostic agent in conditions affecting the maxillary and frontal sinuses. In practice, however, one is surprised to find how infrequently it is used, and with what skepticism its value is appraised. As a result, the diagnosis of maxillary sinusitis, which should be the easiest to diagnose of all the sinuses, is missed in an astonishingly large percentage of cases.
In a recent article, Billings1 says: "Diagnosis is the most important factor in the practice of medicine. Until the diagnosis is made, treatment may be ineffectual and often is irrational." The importance—economic as well as physical—of making an early diagnosis in sinus disease is too obvious a fact to need embellishment. It is nevertheless true that an early diagnosis of sinus disease is seldom made by the
EDWARD L. PRATT. THE RÔLE OF TRANSILLUMINATION IN DISEASES OF THE NASAL ACCESSORY SINUSES. JAMA. 1923;80(16):1121–1122. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640430009005