The use of maxillary sinus endoscopy in the diagnosis of orbital floor fractures

Noah A. Sandler, Ricardo L. Carrau, Mark W. Ochs, Randall L. Beatty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: The goal of the current study was to evaluate the ability to diagnose the presence of an inferior orbital wall fracture through the use of a transantral endoscopy technique at bedside. Patients and Methods: Seven trauma patients with initial axial computed tomography (CT) scan findings consistent with an orbital floor fracture were studied. Before endoscopy, the patients underwent a coronal CT scan with 3-mm cuts for later comparison with the endoscopic findings. The surgeon performing the endoscopy procedure was blinded to the results of the coronal CT scan. Visual acuity, intraocular pressure, and measurement for enopthalmos were performed before endoscopy. The endoscopic procedure was performed at the bedside using local anesthesia. A trocar was used in the canine fossa to gain access to the maxillary sinus. A 30°and then a 70°endoscope were introduced through the trocar to evaluate the integrity of the orbital floor (ie, maxillary sinus roof). The degree of mucosal injury of the orbital floor and the presence of blood or orbital contents in the sinus were recorded. The ophthalmologic examination was repeated after completion of endoscopy. Results: The endoscopic procedure was able to be completed in all patients. There was no change in the ophthalmologic examination in any patient as a result of endoscopy. In six of the seven patients studied, the endoscopic findings correlated with the need for surgical intervention to repair the orbital floor predicted on the basis of coronal CT scan. This was determined by the degree of injury to the orbital floor and the presence of hematoma, exposed bone, or fat. In the remaining case, endoscopy was not diagnostic for the presence of a fracture because only ecchymosis of the orbital floor was noted. Conclusions: The ability to perform endoscopy under local anesthesia at the bedside is useful in those trauma patients whose concomitant injuries may prohibit other diagnostic modalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-403
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


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