Abstract Introduction

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Introduction: The mineralization of stylohyoid complex represents an incidental finding on radiographs with prevalence ranging from 3.7% to 84.4% of the population. Most patients with radiographic evidence of stylohyoid complex mineralization is asymptomatic and 4% of the total can present with symptoms. The identification of this anatomical variation is important for the differential diagnosis of headaches, throat and neck pain, as well as for cases of temporomandibular disorder, trigeminal neuralgia, myofascial pain, non-erupted third molars, sialolithiasis, and tumors. Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of stylohyoid complex mineralization in panoramic radiographs and associate presence, location and radiographic aspects with sex and age. Methods: Panoramic radiographs of the Department of Dental Radiology, PUCPR were randomly chosen and analyzed. Panoramic radiographs without acceptable standards of density and contrast as well as those with positioning errors and/or difficulties in observing the mastoid process and/or stylohyoid complex were excluded. The radiographic interpretation was performed by two radiologists separately, according to criteria of presence, location and radiographic appearance of stylohyoid complex mineralization. The Cohen Kappa test evaluated the interrater agreement (k=1.0). The sample consisted of 1010 panoramic, obtained from 743 females and 267 males. The average age was 42.16 (± 16.44) years, ranging from three to 87, divided into eight intervals every nine years. Results: Stylohyoid complex mineralization was observed in 751 (74.4%) patients, 77.6% in females and 22.4% males. The images of mineralization were bilateral in 90.8% of cases, with type I pattern in 68.4%. The range of age between 43-52 years had the highest frequency of mineralization (n=210). There was a significant association between the presence of images and sex, and presence of images and age (p<0.05%). Conclusion: The prevalence of stylohyoid complex mineralization was high, being more frequent in women compared to men, with bilateral presentation and predominance of type I classification.

Keywords: Panoramic radiography, styloid process, bone mineralization

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