The purpose of this study was to determine the applicability, safety, and normal parameters of a xenon-enhanced CT technique to quantify maxillary sinus ventilation. Nine healthy subjects inhaled a xenon-oxygen-air mixture through their noses while repeated CT scans were performed through the same section of their sinuses. Images were obtained every 1 to 3 minutes and analyzed to measure the density of the gas in the maxillary sinus as a function of time. Individual nasal cavity time constants ranged from 0.5 to 18 minutes. Studies performed after decongestion showed poorer sinus ventilation. The xenon-CT washin/washout technique is safe, effective, and gives representative data.
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