Reporting rates and presence of dental pathology on CT brain examinations at a tertiary hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa


  • Evidence Ndou-Van Zyl Diagnostic Radiology Department, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Daniel Nicholas Prince Department of Diagnostic Radiology. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
  • Suma Rajan Letterkenny University Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Galway University, Ireland.



burden, retrospective


South Africa is burdened by a high prevalence of dental pathology. It is common to encounter this dental pathology on computed tomography (CT) brain scans.
Aims and objectives
To determine the presence of dental pathology on CT brain scans performed in a tertiary hospital and to assess whether radiologists reported on the encountered pathology. The study aimed to raise awareness among radiologists on
reporting dental pathology and highlight the impact this has on oral and general health.
A retrospective observational study.
Reports of CT brain scans performed between September 2019 and October 2019 were reviewed for dental findings. Two radiologists, Reader 1 and Reader 2, blinded to the reports’ findings, reevaluated the corresponding CT images.
Their findings were compared with the findings of the reports.
None of the 160 reports reviewed had dental findings. Reader 1 and Reader 2, respectively, reported dental pathology in 92% and 79% of the CT scans. The most common dental findings were dental caries (79% and 53%), followed by missing teeth (66% and 53%), periodontal disease (59% and 38%), periapical disease (54% and 29%), odontogenic sinusitis (19% and 3%), restorations (11% and 9%) and dental injuries (4% and 4%).
Radiologists do not report on dental pathology encountered on CT brain scans. Recognition of dental findings may alter
patient management and reduce related morbidity and mortality.


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How to Cite

Ndou-Van Zyl, E., Prince, D. N., & Rajan, S. (2024). Reporting rates and presence of dental pathology on CT brain examinations at a tertiary hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. South African Dental Journal, 78(10), 496–502.