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Welcome, eCureMe.com medical contents search April 26, 2013
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Sinus X-rays



1. An x-ray examination is the key to diagnosing sinus problems, such as sinusitis, tumor, or fracture.
  • It is a fast, safe, reliable, and economic way to assess abnormalities in sinuses.
  • When a sinus X-ray is taken, radiation is momentarily irradiated on the face. X-rays pass through the face to produce an image on film. Structures like bone that are dense and have a high atomic number absorb a lot of X-rays, so less X-rays reach the film and appear white. Fluid, fat, and tumor absorb less X-rays than bone, and appear darker on film. Air in the sinus cavities, which has a low atomic number and density, appears black because most X-rays pass through without being absorbed.
  • In the case of sinusitis, the sinuses are filled with inflammatory fluid. It can be detected using X-ray as grayish haziness inside the air-filled black sinuses that are confined in the white bones.
  • In spite of the remarkable progress of CT scan or MRI, sinus X-rays continue to provide definitive diagnostic information in many clinical situations, while playing an important role as a simple screening tool in others.
  • Conventional sinus X-rays consist of three views:
    1. Waters view -- used to visualize maxillary sinuses
    2. Caldwell view -- used to visualize frontal and ethmoid sinuses
    3. Lateral view
  • Additional views:
    1. Rheese view
    2. Base views





  • Stuffed or runny nose
  • Pain or pressure over the sinuses
  • Swelling over the sinuses
  • Traumatic injury in the sinus area




  • Acute sinusitis
  • Allergic sinusitis
  • Infectious sinusitis (viral, bacterial, or fungal)
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Allergic sinusitis
  • Infectious sinusitis (viral, bacterial or fungal)
  • Complications of sinusitis
    1. Mucoceles
    2. Retention cysts
    3. Osteomyelitis; infection of bone
  • Polypoid rhinosinusitis
  • Granulomatous disease:
    1. Tuberculosis
    2. Syphilis
    3. Wegener's granulomatosis
    4. Midline granuloma
    5. Sarcoid
  • Benign tumor:
    1. Osteomas
    2. Epithelial papillomas
    3. Antrochoanal polyps
    4. Plasmacytomas
  • Cancers:
    1. Squamous cell carcinoma
    2. Adenocarcinoma
    3. Adenoid cystic carcinoma
    4. Melanoma
    5. Lymphoma
  • Non-neoplastic lesions:




  • Fracture/hemorrhage of the sinuses




  • Before the procedure, remove all accessories on your head and face.
  • You will be asked to stand or sit with your face or temple placed against the photographic plate. The X-ray tube in front of you emits X-rays.
  • For the picture to be clear without blurring, do not move until the X-ray is taken.
  • Exposed film is developed, washed, and dried. Then a radiologist (a physician experienced in X-ray and other radiology examinations) places the X-ray film over an illumination box and interprets it. When necessary, it is interpreted in comparison to past film.




  • No special preparation is needed.
  • Jewelry, eyeglasses, and other metallic objects can cover an X-ray image and should be removed as needed.
  • Women should inform their doctor or X-ray technologist if they are pregnant or suspect pregnancy. Special care will be taken during X-ray exams.




  • A radiologist (a physician specialist trained to interpret X-ray images or other radiology exams, such as CAT scans, MRI, mammography, etc.) reviews the sinus X-rays and reports the results to your personal doctor.
  • The doctor's office informs patients when the results are in, and what they mean. The office uses the results as a reference in evaluating and treating patients.




  • Sinus radiography uses X-rays, a type of ionizing radiation that can potentially change chemical and genetic structures in the human body.
  • Patients are exposed to far less radiation now than they were in the past because X-rays are collimated so that there is almost no X-ray exposure outside the sinus area, X-rays pass through a filter before being irradiated on the body, and high-speed film is used.
  • For the safety of patients, radiology technologists and radiologists conduct X-ray exams under guidelines set by national and international radiology protection councils.
  • To minimize radiation exposure to reproductive organs, a lead apron/shield can be placed over testicles (in females, over the pelvic region).
  • A patient is exposed to 20 miliroentgens of radiation during a regular X-ray exam. But considering that a person is exposed to 100 miliroentgens a year from ultraviolet rays and small traces of uranium in the soil, radiation exposure from an X-ray exam is minimal.
  • Women should inform their doctor or X-ray technologist if they are pregnant or suspect pregnancy. Special care will be taken during X-ray exams.








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