Ultrasonography aids in diagnosing orofacial swelling

Ultrasonography provides accurate imaging of the head and neck region, and provides information about the nature of the lesion, its extent, and relationship with the surrounding structures, according to a study in the European Journal of Radiology (May 19, 2011).

Researchers from M.M. College of Dental Sciences and Research in India compared ultrasonography with clinical diagnosis, radiography, and histopathological findings in diagnosing maxillofacial swellings in 45 patients. The maxillofacial swellings included cystic lesions, benign swellings, malignant swellings, lymphadenopathies, and abscesses and space infections.

When compared with histopathology, the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound was found to be 92.30% for diagnosing cystic lesions, 87.5% for benign tumors, 81.8% for malignant tumors, 100% for lymphadenopathies, and 90% for space infections and abscesses.

"As the conventional and digital radiography enable the diagnosis of the presence of the disease, but do not give any indication of its nature," the study authors wrote. "So, together with clinical and histopathological examinations, real-time ultrasound imaging works out as a valuable adjunct in the diagnosis of orofacial swellings."

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