Oroantral fistula

Dr Tom Foster and Dr Ian Bickle et al.

Oroantral fistulas are a pathological communication between the oral cavity and the maxillary sinus (antrum).

The term oroantral fistula is similar to but not synonymous with the term oroantral communication (OAC). An oro-antral fistula refers to an "epithelialized" pathological unnatural communication between the oral cavity and the maxillary sinus. It develops when the oro-antral communication fails to close spontaneously, remains patent and becomes epithelialized 6.

There is a slightly greater male predilection 2.

Oroantral fistulas may be subtyped by location into:

They can result from a number of reasons:

Typically seen as a disruption or defect involving the bony floor of the maxillary sinus with soft-tissue opacification or fluid involving the ipsilateral sinus. 

Oroantral fistulas <2 mm wide usually heal without intervention, larger fistulas may require surgery 7.

Article information

rID: 25277
System: Head & Neck
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Oro-antral fistula
  • Oro-antral fistula (OAF)
  • Oro-antral fistulas
  • Oro-antral fistulation
  • Oroantral fistulation
  • Oral-maxillary sinus fistula
  • Oral-maxillary sinus fistulas
  • Oral-maxillary sinus fistulation

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Cases and figures

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