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Computed tomography vs. magnetic resonance imaging of acute bacterial sinusitis: a rabbit model. Am J Otolaryngol 2000;21(5):298-305



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0033798988 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   23 Citations


PURPOSE: Computed topography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are important, both clinically and in a research setting, in assessing bacterial sinusitis (BS). The use of CT scanning to evaluate sinus opacification in a reversible model of rabbit acute sinusitis has been reported. MRI offers the potential for better visualization of soft tissue and fluid changes within the paranasal sinuses. MRI has potential as a research tool in animal models of sinusitis. This article compares the use of CT and MRI in measuring maxillary sinus opacification in rabbits during experimental, reversible BS.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 2 independent trials, New Zealand White rabbits were imaged for baseline anatomy, and BS was generated by sinus inoculation with Staphylococcus aureus. Serial imaging was performed as a measure of the progression and resolution of BS during the trials. Two experienced, independent reviewers then scored each CT and MRI for percent opacification of the maxillary sinus. These scores were analyzed to assess the degree of agreement between the reviewers.

RESULTS: The correlation coefficients for CT and MRI were 0.6816 and 0.3584, respectively. The Z-statistic comparing these correlation coefficients was significant (P < .0001), indicating that CT is a more precise measure of reversible BS in this rabbit model. Differences in mean scan time and cost per scan were also significantly different (P < .0001), with CT being both quicker and less expensive.

CONCLUSIONS: Greater interobserver consistency of scan interpretation, with less time and cost, make CT the preferred tool for measuring BS in this rabbit model. Attributes of MRI such as better resolution of fluid-tissue interfaces and custom surface coil design for visualization of specific anatomic structures are discussed as they may increase the effectiveness of MRI as an imaging modality in future sinusitis research.

Author List

Kerschner JE, Cruz MJ, Beste DJ, Donahue KM, Kehl KS


David J. Beste MD Professor in the Otolaryngology department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Joseph E. Kerschner MD Provost, Executive Vice President, Dean, Professor in the School of Medicine Administration department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Kathleen M. Schmainda PhD Professor in the Biophysics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Acute Disease
Disease Models, Animal
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Maxillary Sinus
Staphylococcal Infections
Staphylococcus aureus
Tomography, X-Ray Computed