J Rhinol.  2007 May;14(1):32-35.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Sinus : Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Incidental Abnormal Findings in a Common Population

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. yschung@amc.seoul.kr
  • 2Department of Health Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of abnormalities in the sinuses among the common population, and to correlate this with clinical data.
We retrospectively evaluated a total of five hundred patients who visited the Health Promotion Center, Asan Medical Center, to undergo MRI scan to screen for intracranial pathology from January to April, 2003. Patients who have been treated for nasal or sinus diseases and who had previous history of nasal or sinus operations were excluded. The sinus abnormalities found through the MRI were classified into 2 types as follows; sinusitis group and retention cyst group.
Among the five hundred patients studied, ninety-six (19.2%) patients showed abnormality in one or more sinus groups; ninety patients displayed symptoms of sinusitis and nine patients exhibited signs of retention cyst. Three patients showed symptoms of both. Sinus abnormalities were most commonly observed in the maxillary sinus. Seven patients had symptoms of the sinusitis group, and one patient had symptoms of the retention cyst group.
Incidental sinus abnormalities detected among the common population were relatively common. However, pathologic condition which demanded treatment among these abnormalities were rare. Therefore, it would be important not to overestimate these signs and one should evaluate their clinical correlations carefully through complete physical examinations before applying any treatment for these lesions.


Magnetic resonance imaging; Incidental abnormality of the sinus; Retention cyst; Sinusitis
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