Introduction: The volumes of the maxillary sinuses are of interest to surgeons operating endoscopically as variation in maxillary sinus volume may mean variation in anatomical landmarks. Other surgical disciplines, such as dentistry, maxillo-facial surgery and plastic surgery, may benefit from this information.
Objectives: To compare the maxillary sinus volumes of dried crania from cadavers of European and Zulu descent, with respect to ethnic group and gender.
Methodology: Helical, multislice computed tomography (CT) was performed using 1-mm coronal slices. The area
for each slice was obtained by tracing the outline of each slice. The CT machine calculated a volume by totalling the slices for each sinus.
Results: Ethnic and gender variations were found in the different groups. It was found that European crania had significantly larger antral volumes
than Zulu crania and men had larger volumes than women. Race and gender interaction was also assessed, as was maxillary sinus side.
Conclusion: A variation in maxillary sinus volume between different ethnic groups and genders exists, and surgeons operating in this region should be aware of this.