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Chronic maxillary atelectasis (including silent sinus syndrome) can present bilaterally

  • J P K Ho (a1) (a2), E Wong (a1) (a2), D A Gunaratne (a1) and N Singh (a1) (a2)



Chronic maxillary atelectasis is a rare and underdiagnosed condition in which there is a persistent and progressive decrease in maxillary sinus volume secondary to inward bowing of the antral walls. Chronic maxillary atelectasis is typically unilateral. Simultaneous bilateral chronic maxillary atelectasis is extremely uncommon.


A retrospective review was performed of patient data collected by the senior clinician over a three-year period (2015–2018). A comprehensive literature search was conducted to locate all documented cases of chronic maxillary atelectasis in English-language literature. Abstracts and full-text articles were reviewed.


Three patients presented with sinonasal symptoms. Imaging findings were consistent with bilateral chronic maxillary atelectasis. The literature review revealed at least nine other cases of bilateral chronic maxillary atelectasis. Management is typically via endoscopic middle meatus antrostomy.


Chronic maxillary atelectasis was initially defined as a unilateral disorder, but this description has been challenged by reports of bilateral cases. Further investigation is required to determine the aetiology and pathophysiology of the disease.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Dr Joyce Ho, Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Westmead Hospital, Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia E-mail: Fax: +61 (02) 8890 9852


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Dr J Ho takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper



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Chronic maxillary atelectasis (including silent sinus syndrome) can present bilaterally

  • J P K Ho (a1) (a2), E Wong (a1) (a2), D A Gunaratne (a1) and N Singh (a1) (a2)


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