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Imaging in chronic rhinosinusitis: A systematic review of MRI and CT diagnostic accuracy and reliability in severity staging.

BACKGROUND: Computerized tomography (CT) severity scores are frequently used as an objective staging tool in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has also been proposed as a valid option in CRS imaging.

PURPOSE: The aim of this systematic review was to briefly present the recent developments on sinus imaging utilized in clinical practice with regard to diagnostic accuracy of imaging and severity staging in CRS according to evidence-based medicine (EBM) principles.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This review paper has been assembled following PRISMA guidelines. A PubMed and Scopus (EMBASE) search using CRS, "severity staging", "diagnostic accuracy "and "imaging "resulted with 80 results. Of these, only 12 (59%) contained original data, constituting the synthesis of best-quality available evidence.

RESULTS: CT is the most commonly used imaging technique for the severity staging of CRS, but a question of higher cumulative radiation dose should be taken into consideration when repeating CT examinations in evaluating treatment efficacy. MRI may be a complementary diagnostic and staging tool, especially when repeated examinations are required, or when paediatric CRS patients are evaluated. The severity staging system may be improved to better correlate with subjective scores.

CONCLUSIONS: MRI may be utilized as a staging tool with comparable diagnostic accuracy, using the same staging systems as with CT examinations.

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