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Transillumination: Sensitivity and Specificity

Introduction: None written. Excerpt from the entry in Acute Sinusitis:
Transillumination should be performed with a transilluminator in a completely darkened room, after the examiner's eyes have adapted to darkness. The frontal sinus is examined by shining a light superiorly through the supraorbital ridge and observing transmission through the forehead. The maxillary sinus is tested by shining a light through the sinus from the infraorbital area and observing transmission through the hard palate. Transillumination of the sinuses was clinically useful in two studies but not in a third. Twenty percent to 40% of sinuses have indeterminate or "dull" results, as opposed to the more definitive "normal" or "opaque."

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Associated Diagnoses:

Acute Sinusitis

73% sensitive, 54% specific