Sinonasal anatomy and function

Dalgorf, Dustin M.; Harvey, Richard J.
May 2013
American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy;May/Jun2013 Supplement, pS3
Academic Journal
An understanding of paranasal sinus anatomy based on important fixed landmarks rather than variable anatomy is critical to ensure safe and complete surgery. The concept of the paranasal surgical box defines the anatomic limits of dissection. The boundaries of the surgical box include the middle turbinate medially, orbital wall laterally, and skull base superiorly. The "vertical component" of the surgical box defines the boundaries of the frontal recess and includes the middle turbinate and intersinus septum medially, medial orbital wall and orbital roof laterally, nasofrontal beak anteriorly, and skull base and posterior table of frontal sinus posteriorly. The paranasal sinuses are divided into anterior, posterior, and sphenoidal functional cavities based on their distinct drainage pathways into the nose. The ultimate goal of surgery is to create afunctional sinus cavity. Application of the paranasal surgical box and its vertical component enables the surgeon to view the limits of dissection with a single position of the endoscope. This will ensure complete dissection of the functional sinonasal compartments and effectively avoid leaving behind disconnected cells from the surgical cavity, mucocele formation, mucous recirculation, overcome obstructive phenomenon and enable maximal delivery of topical therapy in the post-operative setting. This article reviews the structure and function of the nasal cartilages and turbinates. It also describes the concept of the paranasal surgical box, key anatomical landmarks and limits of dissection. Normal anatomy and common variants of normal anatomy are discussed.


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