Medical research and diagnostics

Computed Tomography (CT) of the paranasal sinuses

Computed tomography (CT) of the nasal sinuses is a type of X-ray examination used to assess the state of the paranasal sinuses, diagnose diseases and injuries. The direction to this procedure is prescribed by an otolaryngologist.

This method of diagnosis is used in emergency cases or when conventional ultrasound did not give any results. Exposure to radiation is minimal, so the risk of cancer is quite low.

Indications for use

The doctor prescribes a CT scan in the presence of the following symptoms: runny nose, pulsating frequent headache or toothache, persistent nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, pain when touching the paranasal region, severe head or facial trauma, the presence of a foreign body in the nose, suspected malignancy or benign growths, constant laying and pain in the ears.

A computerized research method is prescribed during the planning of an endoscopic surgical operation that is performed through the nasal area.

Before it starts, the doctor should see the curvature of the nasal septum and additional maxillary canals.

This procedure also allows you to determine the causes of respiratory failure, the presence of small foreign bodies, changes in the structure of the nasal sinuses, the presence of small formations (polyps), the state of the bones of the facial skull and sinuses after injuries, the recurrent course of sinusitis, sinusitis, etc.

Preparatory process

X-ray examination does not require special preparation. Before starting, the patient must remove the dentures, decorations, pull out of his pockets metal objects and any magnetic media.

If necessary, the use of contrast agents should be tested for blood levels of creatinine. Before CT, you can drink and eat food if it is carried out without the use of contrasts.

The dose of radiation at CT is minimal, but it is not worth to abuse this study. It is recommended to hold it once a year, all other cases are discussed with the doctor.

How is the procedure

Examination of the brain and other parts of the head is carried out in this order:

  • the patient lies on a special table, the neck is placed on a comfortable stand, and the head is fixed with the help of belts;
  • the table goes into a special chamber equipped with an X-ray tube producing radiation;
  • the process of scanning the nasal sinuses lasts a minute. The more turns the sensor makes, the more detailed the plot is shown;
  • the image obtained as a result of scanning is displayed on the monitor;
  • During the procedure, the patient should not move, as this will affect the quality of the image.

Side effects of the survey is a rash on the skin and difficulty breathing. However, they do not always occur.

Decryption of the results is done by a separate specialist. Ultimately, the patient receives a snapshot, a written opinion and a digital recording media of the study. These data will help prescribe treatment. Repeated research is conducted to monitor the development of pathologies, evaluation of treatment methods and with inaccurate results of the analysis.

Benefits of the procedure

The main advantages of CT are:

  • painlessness and safety of the study;
  • high research speed;
  • allows you to timely diagnose pathological processes in the region of the paranasal sinuses;
  • the ability to check the bones of the brain, tissue and blood circulation;
  • the resulting image is of high quality, in which all changes will be visible;
  • use in diagnosing patients who have been installed medical devices;
  • the use of CT in an emergency situation allows you to diagnose disorders and begin immediate treatment.

Negative properties

Computed tomography of the sinuses has its drawbacks. Contraindications to the examination are renal or heart failure, claustrophobia, cardiac arrhythmia, thyroid disease, diabetes, overweight.

In addition, it is not recommended to undergo CT scan for pregnant women, as the fetus is not yet fully formed, or nursing mothers, children with high activity, with an allergic reaction to iodine, used as contrast.

KT are not allowed people under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


An alternative option to study the paranasal tract is MRI. These two ways complement each other. CT scan allows you to determine the integrity of tissues, determine the presence of cracks that can not be seen during MRI. The procedure is carried out to detect tumors located on the walls of the paranasal pathways. CT scan is a more accurate method of examination, as it is carried out with small steps.

MRI is prescribed by a doctor to examine mucous tissues, namely, to detect a tumor and determine its size. The method is used to study the labyrinth and wedge-shaped emptiness. It allows you to find malignant tumors, as well as other complications caused by injuries of the skull. MRI is a more accurate and reliable method, but its cost is twice as high as CT. Before starting the examination, you should consult with your doctor.


The neglected state of the sinuses can lead to serious consequences. Therefore, it is necessary to quickly find the cause and address it. For rapid diagnosis, the otolaryngologist prescribes CT. Through this method, you can see the pathology and consider it in detail.

The method of computed tomography is absolutely painless for a person. Low exposure reduces the risk of cancer.

Watch the video: How to Find Answers to Sinus Problems with a CT Sinus Exam (January 2020).