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Prevalence and imaging characteristics of palatine tonsilloliths detected by CT in 2,873 consecutive patients.

Takahashi A, Sugawara C, Kudoh T, Uchida D, Tamatani T, Nagai H, Miyamoto Y - ScientificWorldJournal (2014)

Bottom Line: They are commonly detected in daily clinical practice.The prevalence in the 30s and younger was statistically lower than in the 40s and older (P < 0.05).For the patients with multiple CT examinations,the number of tonsilloliths increased in 51 (3.9%) and decreased in 84 (6.5%) of the tonsils.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Oral Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima 770-8504, Japan.

ABSTRACT

Aim: Tonsilloliths are calcified structures that develop in tonsillar crypts. They are commonly detected in daily clinical practice. The prevalence of tonsilloliths was 16 to 24% in previous reports, but it is inconsistent with clinical experience. The aim of this study is to clarify the prevalence, number, and size distribution of tonsilloliths using computed tomography (CT) in a relatively large number of patients.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the scans of 2,873 patients referred for CT examinations with regard to tonsilloliths.

Results: Palatine tonsilloliths were found in 1,145 out of 2,873 patients (39.9%). The prevalence of tonsilloliths increased with age, and most commonly in patients of ages 50-69. The prevalence in the 30s and younger was statistically lower than in the 40s and older (P < 0.05). The number of tonsilloliths per palatine tonsil ranged from one to 18. The size of the tonsilloliths ranged from 1 to 10 mm. For the patients with multiple CT examinations,the number of tonsilloliths increased in 51 (3.9%) and decreased in 84 (6.5%) of the tonsils.

Conclusions: As palatine tonsilloliths are common conditions, screenings for tonsilloliths during the diagnosis of soft tissue calcifications should be included in routine diagnostic imaging.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Axial CT images. (a) Single large tonsillolith in the left palatine tonsil (white arrow). (b) Multiple small tonsilloliths involving right and left palatine tonsils (white arrows).
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fig1: Axial CT images. (a) Single large tonsillolith in the left palatine tonsil (white arrow). (b) Multiple small tonsilloliths involving right and left palatine tonsils (white arrows).

Mentions: The number and size of the palatine tonsilloliths were counted by displaying the CT images in the monitor with a soft-tissue window by a single, experienced dental radiologist (Akira Takahashi). An example of CT images of palatine tonsilloliths is shown in Figure 1. If the patient had multiple examinations, the first CT examination was used as a reference, and subsequent examinations were used to investigate change with time in the number of palatine tonsilloliths. We used the chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests with a significance level of 5% to determine statistical significance.


Prevalence and imaging characteristics of palatine tonsilloliths detected by CT in 2,873 consecutive patients.

Takahashi A, Sugawara C, Kudoh T, Uchida D, Tamatani T, Nagai H, Miyamoto Y - ScientificWorldJournal (2014)

Axial CT images. (a) Single large tonsillolith in the left palatine tonsil (white arrow). (b) Multiple small tonsilloliths involving right and left palatine tonsils (white arrows).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4214167&req=5

fig1: Axial CT images. (a) Single large tonsillolith in the left palatine tonsil (white arrow). (b) Multiple small tonsilloliths involving right and left palatine tonsils (white arrows).
Mentions: The number and size of the palatine tonsilloliths were counted by displaying the CT images in the monitor with a soft-tissue window by a single, experienced dental radiologist (Akira Takahashi). An example of CT images of palatine tonsilloliths is shown in Figure 1. If the patient had multiple examinations, the first CT examination was used as a reference, and subsequent examinations were used to investigate change with time in the number of palatine tonsilloliths. We used the chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests with a significance level of 5% to determine statistical significance.

Bottom Line: They are commonly detected in daily clinical practice.The prevalence in the 30s and younger was statistically lower than in the 40s and older (P < 0.05).For the patients with multiple CT examinations,the number of tonsilloliths increased in 51 (3.9%) and decreased in 84 (6.5%) of the tonsils.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Oral Surgery, Institute of Health Biosciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramoto-cho, Tokushima 770-8504, Japan.

ABSTRACT

Aim: Tonsilloliths are calcified structures that develop in tonsillar crypts. They are commonly detected in daily clinical practice. The prevalence of tonsilloliths was 16 to 24% in previous reports, but it is inconsistent with clinical experience. The aim of this study is to clarify the prevalence, number, and size distribution of tonsilloliths using computed tomography (CT) in a relatively large number of patients.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the scans of 2,873 patients referred for CT examinations with regard to tonsilloliths.

Results: Palatine tonsilloliths were found in 1,145 out of 2,873 patients (39.9%). The prevalence of tonsilloliths increased with age, and most commonly in patients of ages 50-69. The prevalence in the 30s and younger was statistically lower than in the 40s and older (P < 0.05). The number of tonsilloliths per palatine tonsil ranged from one to 18. The size of the tonsilloliths ranged from 1 to 10 mm. For the patients with multiple CT examinations,the number of tonsilloliths increased in 51 (3.9%) and decreased in 84 (6.5%) of the tonsils.

Conclusions: As palatine tonsilloliths are common conditions, screenings for tonsilloliths during the diagnosis of soft tissue calcifications should be included in routine diagnostic imaging.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus