• Maxillary sinus;
  • cysts;
  • computed tomography;
  • sinusitis



Mucosal cysts in the maxillary antrum (MMC) are a common finding in imaging of the paranasal sinuses. Their significance remains in doubt and their prevalence in the general nonrhinitic population is unknown.


To establish the prevalence of MMCs in patients without nasal complaints and identify any association with putative causative factors. To identify any correlation between objective radiologic evidence of chronic rhinosinusitis or dental disease and the presence of cysts.

Study Design:

Prospective case series.


Computed tomography (CT) images from 257 patients undergoing scans of the orbits for ophthalmic reasons were entered into this study. Patients responded to a questionnaire prior to scanning inquiring about nasal complaints, treatment for nasal disorders, previous nasal injury, allergy, asthma, recent upper respiratory tract infection, and dental root disease of the upper jaw.


Overall 35.6% of patients studied had radiologic evidence of at least one maxillary mucosal cyst. There was no association between the presence of cysts and subjective or objective evidence of sinus or dental disease. Specifically, there was no correlation between the presence of cysts and the total and ostiomeatal complex Lund-Mackay radiologic scores.


Maxillary mucosal cysts are prevalent in nonrhinitic patients and do not reflect sinus or dental disease. Their presence should not be an indication for sinus surgery. Laryngoscope, 119:8–12, 2009