What is the role of sinus CT scanning in the evaluation of asthma symptoms?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Michael J Morris, MD, FACP, FCCP; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Sinus CT scanning may be useful to help exclude acute or chronic sinusitis as a contributing factor. In patients with chronic sinus symptoms, CT scanning of the sinuses can also help rule out chronic sinus disease. Conventional wisdom regarding the sinus radiographic evaluation of chronic coughing and asthma suggests that a workup for chronic coughing should be performed first, as outlined in a Finnish study of hospital admissions for acute asthma. Admission chest radiographs showed abnormalities in 50% of the patients and resulted in treatment changes in 5%. The numbers were more remarkable when a paranasal sinus series was obtained in unselected patients who presented primarily because of asthma.

A sinus abnormality of any kind was found in 85% of patients; maxillary sinus abnormalities occurred alone in 63%. In 29% of patients with a sinus abnormality, treatment was immediately altered. All abnormalities were identified on the Waters view alone, which is 6 times more useful than chest radiography in directing the treatment of acute asthma. [67, 68]

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