Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 1175–1183 | Cite as

Frequency, location, and association with dental pathology of mucous retention cysts in the maxillary sinus. A radiographic study using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)

  • Andy Wai Kan Yeung
  • Ray Tanaka
  • Pek-Lan Khong
  • Thomas von Arx
  • Michael M. Bornstein
Original Article



The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the frequency, locations, and dimensions of mucous retention cysts of the maxillary sinus and analyze potential associated dental pathology.

Materials and methods

A total of 156 cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scans were included in the analysis, resulting in an evaluation of 310 maxillary sinuses. The presence of mucous retention cysts (MRC) manifesting as dome-shaped radiopacities in the sinus was diagnosed. Their locations were recorded, and dimensions (mm) were measured in coronal and sagittal/axial slices. The patients were grouped into (a) patients/sinuses with MRCs (test), and (b) patients/sinuses with healthy or any other changes (control) for further comparison and evaluation.


There were 40 sinuses (12.9%) with a presence of a total of 56 MRCs. The mean age of involved patients was 29.0 years. The analysis showed that gender, age, sinus side, status of dentition, endodontic status, and periodontal status did not have a significant influence on the presence of MRCs when compared between test and control groups. Age and endodontic status exhibited a significant association with cyst location.


Most of the sinuses analyzed (79.5%) did not present any MRC, and only 28.6% of the cysts diagnosed were found on the floor of the maxillary sinus. The mean dimension of the MRCs measured 6.28 ± 2.93 mm. No influencing factors on the presence or absence of MRCs were found in the present study.

Clinical relevance

Most MRCs were not located on the floor of maxillary sinus. Future studies should assess their impact on surgical interventions in the sinus.


Maxillary sinus Mucous retention cyst Cone beam computed tomography 



The authors are grateful to Ms. Kar Yan Li, Centralized Research Lab, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, for her valuable assistance regarding the statistical analysis.


This study has been funded by departmental funds only. No external funding has been received.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The study protocol was submitted to and approved by the local institutional review board (IRB) of the University of Hong Kong / Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster (approval number UW 16–495).

Informed consent

For this type of study (retrospective study), formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andy Wai Kan Yeung
    • 1
  • Ray Tanaka
    • 1
  • Pek-Lan Khong
    • 2
  • Thomas von Arx
    • 3
  • Michael M. Bornstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Applied Oral Sciences, Faculty of DentistryThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  3. 3.Department of Oral Surgery and Stomatology, School of Dental MedicineUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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