Clinical and radiographic assessment and restoration of maxillary sinus function in relation to oro-antral fistula closure: a systematic review

Published:March 03, 2022DOI:


      The purpose of this study was to determine current practice in assessment of maxillary sinus health during oro-antral fistula closure.


      A systematic review using specific MeSH headings between 1990 and September 2021 on Medline, Ovid, and PubMed was performed. The inclusion criterion was closure of oro-antral fistula in adult patients. Exclusion criteria were oro-antral fistula arising in children; or from trauma, malignancy, or developmental abnormality; or any osteonecrotic lesion of bone. Risk of bias for individual papers was not assessed. Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine levels of evidence were recorded.


      4309 papers were identified, and 119 were eligible for review. Nineteen were from otolaryngology (16%), 25 from combined ear, nose, and throat (ENT) and oral/oral and maxillofacial (OS/OMF) surgery (21%), and 75 from OS/OMF surgery (63%). Preoperative rhinoscopy and cross-sectional imaging were reported in 33 papers (28%), reflecting the role of ENT with or without OS/OMFS. Sixty-eight did not record any formal assessment of maxillary sinus health (57%), of which 60 were from OS/OMF surgery (50%). Use of computed tomography was reported in 58 papers (49%), and use of cone beam computed tomography was reported in 8 papers (7%) but did not correlate with assessment of sinus health.


      Most surgery for oro-antral fistual closure was undertaken without objective assessment of maxillary sinus health, pre- or postoperatively. The involvement of ENT was associated with formal assessment of maxillary sinus health.
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