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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-39

Incidental findings in the maxillofacial region identified on cone-beam computed tomography scans

1 Division of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of California, San Francisco
2 Department of Orofacial Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of California, San Francisco

Correspondence Address:
Stephen Rheem
Address 513 Parnassus Avenue, Suite S747. San Francisco, CA 94143-0442
San Francisco
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a three-dimensional radiographic imaging technique that is commonly being used in diagnosis and treatment planning in various fields of dentistry. Incidental findings on CBCT images are frequently reported in the literature and are important to assess before treatment planning. Aims: To record types and prevalence of incidental findings in the maxillofacial region, identified on CBCT scans and described in radiologist's consultation reports. Settings and Design: A total of 147 CBCT scan reports on 59 males and 88 females between June 2007 and February 2012 at University of California, San Francisco, were analyzed retrospectively. Methods and Material: 147 patient reports by Board certified oral radiologists on CBCT scans taken with the Hitachi CB MercuRay. The incidental findings were categorized and analysed using descriptive statistics. Statistical Analysis Used: Logistic regression analysis was used to compare the rate of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pathologies between females and males. Results: The overall rate of incidental findings was 40.1%. The age range of patients was from 8 years to 80 years. The highest rate of incidental findings was in the sinus region (51.7%), followed by dento-alveolar region (34.01%), TMJ region (26.53%), osseous region (15.64%), calcification of ligaments, pineal gland, and carotid artery (12.92%), dental anomalies (10.88%), nasal region (8.84%), and airway region (5.44%). According to logistic regression analysis, females were 2.58 times more likely to exhibit TMJ pathology compared to males (P value = 0.02). Conclusions: CBCT scans are beneficial in revealing incidental abnormalities in the head and neck region outside the scope of interest. Careful review of the entire CBCT image is essential to avoid under- or overestimation of potential complications in providing comprehensive health care.

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