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National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55-61

Evaluation of ultrasonography as a diagnostic tool in the management of head and neck facial space infections: A clinical study

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Government Dental College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajaz Shah
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Government Dental College and Hospital, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-5950.168213

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Introduction: Superficial facial space infections represent a significant amount of the dental problems that present to hospital. Determining whether an odontogenic swelling is a cellulitis or abscess is difficult, but important as both may require different treatments. The use of an ultrasound may aid in differentiating cellulitis and abscess. This study was done to compare the accuracy of clinical examination alone versus ultrasonography (USG) in the diagnosis of cellulitis and abscess in symptomatic patients with a diagnosis of superficial facial space infection. Materials and Methods: Twenty patients (1870 years) diagnosed as superficial facial space infections by clinical and radiographic examinations were included in the study and patients with significant medical conditions were excluded. The provisional clinical diagnosis was made after a thorough history was taken and clinical examination was performed to determine if the swelling was a cellulitis or abscess. Swelling was then evaluated using the ultrasonic transducer which was placed over the swelling to aid the diagnosis which was again recorded. An incision and drainage procedure was performed after the administration of local anesthesia. The success of the ultrasound intervention versus clinical examination was based on whether frank exudation was detected during incision and drainage of such swellings. Results: The statistical analysis found that USG is a valuable diagnostic aid for detection of abscess or cellulitis in head and neck facial space infections. Interpretation and Conclusion: The findings of this prospective analysis indicate that there was statistical difference between clinical examination alone and USG in making the correct diagnosis. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive, negative predictive, and accuracy were not similar for all methods tested. From the results of this study, ultrasound is recommended as an adjunct to clinical examination in differentiating between cellulitis and abscess.

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