Comparison of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Computed Tomography in the Evaluation of the Olfactory Cleft and Ethmoidal Cells

Tomotaka Hemmi, Kazuhiro Nomura, Jun Suzuki, Yuta Kobayashi, Risako Kakuta, Mitsuru Sugawara, Yukio Katori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


No study has examined whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) alone can be used for evaluating olfactory cleft and ethmoidal sinus in patients with olfactory disorders. Therefore, we analyzed the discrepancies between computed tomography (CT) and MRI in the imaging of the olfactory cleft and ethmoidal sinus. Patients who underwent CT and MRI within 30 days were evaluated. Age, sex, diagnosis, presence of bronchial asthma (BA), peripheral blood eosinophil percentage, and CT and MRI findings were retrospectively reviewed, and the sinuses were assessed on a scale of 0 to 3. Overall, 146 patients with 292 sinuses were enrolled. The ethmoid sinus score and the olfactory cleft score had 77.1% and 72.6% image similarity in CT and MRI. Sex and BA status were not associated with olfactory cleft score discrepancies (sex: P = 0.52, BA: P = 0.41). Magnetic resonance imaging scores tended to be rated higher than the CT scores as age increased, although this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.09). The higher the peripheral blood eosinophil percentage, the more the magnitude by which the CT score tended to exceed the MRI score; however, this finding was also not statistically significant (P = 0.11). Magnetic resonance imaging scans should be limited to the evaluation of intracranial regions. Scans of olfactory cleft and ethmoid cells are not accurate for the assessment of olfactory dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2462-2464
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1


  • Computed tomography
  • ethmoid sinus
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • olfactory cleft
  • olfactory dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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