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Imaging Sci Dent. 2017 Mar;47(1):39-44. English. Original Article.
Tehranchi M , Taleghani F , Shahab S , Nouri A .
Department of Periodontology, Faculty of Dentistry, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Faculty of Dentistry, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.
Nouri's Dental Clinic, Tehran, Iran.

PURPOSE: Insufficient knowledge of the anatomy of the maxillary sinuses prior to sinus graft surgery may lead to perioperative or postoperative complications. This study sought to characterize the position of the posterior superior alveolar artery (PSAA) within the maxillary sinuses using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 300 patients with edentulous posterior maxillae, including 138 females and 162 males with an age range of 33-86 years, who presented to a radiology clinic between 2013 and 2015 were enrolled in this retrospective cross-sectional study. The distance from the inferior border of the PSAA to the alveolar crest according to the residual ridge classification by Lekholm and Zarb, the distance from the PSAA to the nasal septum and zygomatic arch, and the diameter and position of the PSAA were all assessed on patients' CBCT scans. The data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney test and the t-test. RESULTS: The PSAA was detected on the CBCT scans of 87% of the patients; it was located beneath the sinus membrane in 47% of cases and was intraosseous in 47% of cases. The diameter of the artery was between 1 and 2 mm in most patients (72%). The mean diameter of the artery was 1.29±0.39 mm, and the mean distances from the PSAA to the zygomatic arch, nasal septum, and alveolar crest were 22.59±4.89 mm, 26.51±3.52 mm, and 16.7±3.96 mm, respectively. CONCLUSION: The likelihood of detecting the PSAA on CBCT scans is high; its location is intraosseous or beneath the sinus membrane in most patients. Determining the exact location of the PSAA on CBCT scans preoperatively can help prevent it from being damaged during surgery.

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