Journal of Prosthodontics News   December 20, 2022

Incidental findings in cone beam computed tomography volumes


Now online in the Journal of Prosthodontics, an original research article co-authored by ACP members Rula Amarin, DDS, MS, Carl F. Driscoll, DMD, and Radi Masri, DDS, MS, PhD.

This study assessed the prevalence and risk factors associated with atheromas, which are vascular lesions that can be detected incidentally in routine dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) images. Atheromatous plaques are related to the development of cerebrovascular accidents, which are among the leading causes of death worldwide.

For this study, the maxillofacial CBCT's of 458 subjects were evaluated and divided into 4 groups based on the presence of calcified atheroma: subjects with no calcified atheroma, subjects with intracranial calcified atheroma, subjects with extracranial calcified atheroma, and subjects exhibiting combined lesions.

Of the 458 CBCTs evaluated, 29.90% presented with calcified atheroma. Calcified atheroma prevalence was significantly higher in older patients vs younger patients and in males compared to females. Overall, patients exhibiting both intracranial and extracranial lesions were more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors.

Subjects with combined atheroma lesions are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Training dental professionals to screen or these calcified lesions is important as it can help refer the patient to screen for undiagnosed systemic diseases and allows for early medical intervention.

Amarin R, Alshalawi H, Zaghlol R, Price JB, Driscoll CF, Romberg E, et al. Incidental findings in cone beam computed tomography volumes: calcified head and neck atheromas detected during dental evaluation. J Prosthodont. 2022; 00– 00. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopr.13629


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