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Alternative namesParanasal sinus radiography; X-ray - sinuses
A sinus X-ray is an examination involving images of the air-filled cavities in the frontal bones on the skull that are lined with a mucous membrane .
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation like light, but of higher energy, so they can penetrate the body to form an image on film. Structures that are dense (such as bone) will appear white, air will be black, and other structures will be shades of gray.
How the test is performedThe test is performed in a hospital radiology department or in the health care provider's office by an X-ray technician. You will be asked to sit in a chair so that any fluids in the sinus may be easily seen on the pictures. Your head may be placed in different positions as the pictures are taken.
How to prepare for the testInform the health care provider if you are pregnant. Remove all jewelry.
Infants and children:
The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:
How the test will feelGenerally, there is little or no discomfort associated with X-rays.
Why the test is performedThis test is performed when symptoms of sinusitis or other sinus disorders are present.
What abnormal results mean
The X-ray may detect tumors, obstruction, infection, and bleeding.
Additional conditions under which the test may be performed include the following:
What the risks areThere is low radiation exposure. X-rays are monitored and regulated to provide the minimum amount of radiation exposure needed to produce the image. Most experts feel that the risk of most X-rays is smaller than other risks we take every day. Pregnant women and children are more sensitive to the risks of X-rays.
A CT scan of the sinuses is often preferred over X-rays because CT offers superior cross-sectional imaging capability and the opportunity to identify other possible causes for the presenting symptoms.
Update Date: 5/5/2003Benjamin Taragin, M.D., Department of Radiology, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY. Review Provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT