gms | German Medical Science

76th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

04.05. - 08.05.2005, Erfurt

False positives for conventional X-rays of para-nasal sinuses

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author Bernhard Roth - UKE Hamburg, Hamburg
  • Christian Habermann - UKE Hamburg, Hamburg
  • Frank U. Metternich - UKE Hamburg, Hamburg

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie. 76. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e.V.. Erfurt, 04.-08.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05hno549

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2005

© 2005 Roth et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: In past years several studies have severely questioned the real value of conventional X-ray images when diagnosing paranasal sinus dis-eases. Nevertheless conventional X-ray images are used as standard proce-dure when screening for suspected sinus diseases. Compared to the gold standard of computer tomography (CT) X-rays are more easily available and expose patients to less radiation. Therefore sinus X-rays are still seen as helpful when performing searches for focus.

Method: We will present a case where conventional X-rays and a CT were performed for the paranasal sinus. The patient urgently required an artificial heart valve and came in for a focus search.

Observation: The conventional X-ray images showed shadows on the paranasal sinus. Consequently, a surgical focal therapy was being planned. Then a CT was carried out while preparing the surgery. The CT results did not display any pathological changes so that a surgery was not necessary.

Conclusion: The results of conventional X-rays of paranasal sinus should be subject to a critical evaluation – even if the results are posi-tive. It should be discussed whether X-rays should be used at all when the anamnesis and the examination results are uneventful, and conversely whether a CT of the sinus should be made as soon as a sinusitis is strongly suspected in the patient.