Incidental Findings from a Retrospective Study of 318 Cone Beam Computed Tomography Consultation Reports
Gregory A. Pette, DMD, MS/Frederic J. Norkin, DMD/Jeffrey Ganeles, DMD/Patrick Hardigan, PhD/Enrique Lask, DDS/Samuel Zfaz, DMD/William Parker, DDS
Purpose: Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a three-dimensional radiographic technique used in planning implant therapy to help clinicians determine the volume and dimension of bone available for implant placement, and CBCT images potentially depict coincident findings. Materials and Methods: Three hundred eighteen patients received CBCT scans prior to receiving implants, which were interpreted by blinded board-certified oral and maxillofacial radiologists. All incidental findings were defined as non–tooth-related pathologies or abnormalities. These findings were categorized and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: The patients ranged in age from 16 to 91 years (mean age for men, 64.73 ± 15.05 years; for women, 62.47 ± 15.83 years). Controlling for age, men were 2.13 times more likely to have sinus pathology than women. Patients over age 65 were 5.01 times more likely to demonstrate vascular pathology (eg, carotid artery calcification) than patients ages 41 to 65; the likelihood versus patients ages 16 to 40 was 13.39. Women were 2.63 times more likely to display brain pathology (eg, pineal or pituitary calcifications). Controlling for gender, patients ages 41 to 65 were 3.17 times more likely to exhibit condylar pathology (eg, degenerative changes) than patients ages 16 to 40. Similarly, patients above age 65 were 3.53 times more likely to show condylar pathology than patients ages 16 to 40, and women were 1.61 times more likely to have condylar pathology than men. Versus patients ages 16 to 40, patients ages 41 to 65 were 17.69 times more likely to show signs of vertebral pathology (eg, degenerative disc changes) and patients over age 65 were 28.67 times more likely to display vertebral pathology. Conclusion: CBCT scans frequently reveal non–tooth-related pathologies and/or abnormalities in the head and neck region. Therefore, comprehensive review of the entire CBCT image set is necessary. INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 2012;27:595–603.
Key words: computed tomography, cone beam computed tomography, dental radiology, magnetic resonance imaging, oral and maxillofacial radiology, panoramic radiography