Sinus evaluation – the CT scan

December 4, 2013 Sinus

If you have chronic sinusitis (sinus problems persistent 3 months or longer) then evaluating your problem often requires getting a CT scan of the sinuses.  Regardless of how good and experienced a doctor is – we can’t always tell what is going on inside of the sinuses by just looking in your nose.  The symptoms you are having are important in helping us figure out what is going on – but there is still some guess work going on until we “look” inside of your sinuses with a CT scan.   A CT scan is a special kind of x-ray that allows us (sinus surgeon) to get a complete view of your sinuses – from the frontal sinuses (your forehead) to the sphenoid sinuses in the middle of your head – and all the sinuses in between.

The images below show a normal and an abnormal sinus CT scan.   The normal scan shows sinuses that are all black in color – this means they are filled with air which is normal.   The abnormal scan shows sinuses filled as a grey color (look between the eyes, and on the left of the image), meaning the sinuses are filled with either swollen, inflamed tissue or with mucus that can’t drain.

Sinus surgery is often helpful in treating long-standing cases of sinus infections / sinus inflammation.

– Dr. Stephen Parsons


Normal sinus CT scan


Abnormal Sinus CT Scan