Chronic maxillary atelectasis

Chronic maxillary atelectasis is a descriptive term which is characterized by a persistent decrease in the maxillary sinus volume due to inward bowing of its antral walls. It is not considered synonymous with but can include the term  silent sinus syndrome  in special situations when there is also spontaneous enophthalmos, hypoglobus, and/or midfacial deformity in the absence complaints related to nose and paranasal sinuses.

Chronic maxillary atelectasis can be classified into three successive clinical-radiological stages

  • stage I: membranous deformity
  • stage II: bony deformity
  • stage III: clinical deformity

Treatment and prognosis

Intervention may depend on a number of factors such as symptoms with some suggesting  better managed in a two-step manner. It is first mandatory to relieve the obstruction of the maxillary sinus and restore its normal ventilation. This is usually achieved via functional endoscopic sinus surgery.