Pneumatization of the zygomatic process of temporal bone on computed tomograms

  • dk/atira/pure/publikationen_lom_relevant/sonderfall
  • Center for Health Care Research (CHCR)
  • PURPOSE: Zygomatic air cells (ZAC) are a variant of temporal bone pneumatization that needs no treatment. However, ZAC can have an impact on surgical procedures in the temporo-mandibular joint region. Recent reports suggest that computed tomography will disclose more ZAC than can be diagnosed on panoramic radiography. The aim of this study was to analyze ZAC prevalence on CT in a population that was not pre-selected by admission to a dental clinic. Furthermore, an extensive literature review was performed to assess the prevalence of ZAC and to address the impact of imaging technique on the definition of the item.

    MATERIAL AND METHODS: Digitalized cranial CTs of 2007 patients were retrospectively analyzed. The Frankfort horizontal was used to define a ZAC on sagittal CTs.

    RESULTS: In this study group, 806 were female (40.16%) and 1,201 were male (59.84%). Mean age was 49.96 years in the whole group (female: 55.83 years, male: 46.01 years). A ZAC was diagnosed in 152 patients (female: 66, male: 86). Unilateral ZAC surpasses bilateral findings (115 vs. 37 patients). ZAC were diagnosed in children 5 years of age and older. Sectional imaging techniques show a better visualization of the region of interest. However, presently an increase of ZAC prevalence attributable to imaging technique cannot conclusively be derived from the current literature. The normal finding of a ZAC on radiograms is a sharply defined homogenous transparent lesion restricted to the zygomatic process of the temporal bone that has no volume effect on the shape of the process.

    CONCLUSION: ZAC is an anatomical variant of the temporal bone that has come into focus of maxillofacial radiology due to its noticeable aspect on panoramic radiograms. The harmless variant can be expected in about one in thirteen individuals undergoing facial radiology. Panoramic radiograms appear to be sufficient to present ZAC of relevant size. However, in preparation for surgical procedures affecting the articular eminence the application of sectional images is recommended.

  • info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
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