Sinus Computed Tomography Scan
A sinus computed tomography, or CT, scan, is a minimally invasive diagnostic test in which images of the sinus cavities, similar to X-rays, are created. This exam is helpful in diagnosing sinusitis and other abnormalities or disorders of the sinuses.
Reasons for a Sinus CT Scan
A CT scan of the sinuses may help to locate, examine or diagnose various conditions, including:
- Birth defects
- Osteomyelitis, an infection of the bones
- Epistaxis, or repeated nosebleeds
- Injury to the facial area near the sinuses
- Nasal or sinus polyps
- Tumors of the sinuses
The results of the sinus CT scan may help to determine an effective course of treatment for the condition being investigated, possibly including surgery.
The Sinus CT Scan Procedure
At Breathe America, Albuquerque, we have our own in-office low dose CT scanner, the mini-CAT by Xoran. Our device is IAC-accredited and recertified on a regular basis. Scanning takes only 1-2 minutes and does not require the patient to lay inside any confined machine. The scanning is non-invasive and the vast majority of patients experience no immediate aftereffects.
Risks of a Sinus CT Scan
A sinus CT scan emits more radiation than an ordinary X-ray and having many CT scans may increase the risk of developing a cancer in the future. However, our Xoran mini-CAT emits between 1/15 and 1/20 of the radiation associated with a conventional CT scan. In fact, the radiation associated with one mini-CAT CT of the sinuses is approximately the same amount of radiation as the background radiation from living in Albuquerque for one year.