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Retrospective evaluation of soft tissue calcifications and ossifications of head and neck region on digital panoramic radiographs

Author: 
Dr. Krishna Kumar, Dr. Ashwini Desai, Dr. Vinod VC, Dr. Jyotsna Patel, Dr. Nikhil Diwan and Dr. Rashmi Sapkal
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Soft tissues calcifications and ossifications are incidental findings seen in the digital panoramic radiographs. These are usually asymptomatic but can be a diagnostic aid for some calcifications which are life threatening and the underlying cause requires treatment. Aim of the study to estimate prevalence of soft tissue calcifications and ossifications in digital panoramic radiographs (OPGs) Objectives: 1.To estimate the prevalence of soft tissue calcifications seen on digital OPGs. 2. To evaluate incidence of calcifications like phleboliths, antroliths, carotid artery calcifications ,stylohyoid ligament ossifications etc. on digital OPGs. 3. To estimate and compare the prevalence of calcifications in males and females. Materials and Method: 1750 random digital panoramic radiographs of the individuals aged between 35 to 80 years of region Western Maharashtra who visited dental institution were evaluated retrospectively and were scrutinized for calcifications according to gender, age and site. Results: Out of 1750 radiographs the number of radiographs with evidence of calcification was 210 out of which 131 were of females and 79 were males. It was a double blind study. Two maxillofacial radiologists cross checked the radiographs. In this study stylohyoid ligament calcifications was found more in number among which 74 were females & 27 males average of 9.9% followed by 7.6% of atherosclerotic plaque, 0.9% of antroliths and lymph node calcifications, 0.7% of rhinoliths and tonsilloliths and 0.1% of phleboliths. Since the site selected in the study was predetermined, the calcifications are recorded accordingly. Statistical analysis: Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS software) (v 22.0, IBM). The estimation of presence of calcification with comparison of findings between males and females was analyzed using Chi-square test(p value = 0.01) and considered to be statistically significant. Mean age of participants with calcification was 49.01. Conclusion: Stylohyoid ligament calcifications were found highest in number in this study followed by carotid artery calcification. Some of these calcifications may indicate presence of some systemic diseases. This makes the OPG an instrumental tool in saving a patient's life.

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