The sphenoethmoidal sinus and the modified anatomy of the related structures

Vol. 61 No. 1, 2020


Mugurel Constantin Rusu, Sorin Hostiuc, Andrei Gheorghe Marius Motoc, Carmen Aurelia Mogoanta, Julietta Cristina Sava, Mihai Sandulescu

The anterior extent of the sphenoidal sinus in the posterior ethmoid was less investigated. Our purpose was to study whether, or not, the occurrence of a sphenoethmoidal sinus (SES) relates to a sagitally-shortened ethmoid. A retrospective cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) was performed on 36 patient files. In six patients were found SES extended anteriorly above the posterior third of the middle turbinate (MT). Two of these patients had bilateral SES with ethmoidal chambers included in the lateral and superior nasal walls and draining in the sphenoethmoidal recesses. The correlation between the nasion-to-concha sphenoidalis distance and the presence of SES was statistically significant (less than 40 mm in SES cases and more than 40 mm in non-SES cases). We also found: (i) superior turbinates (STs) with ethmoidal and sphenoidal insertions on one side and ethmoidal and maxillary insertions on the opposite side (the maxillary insertion of ST modifies surgical landmarks and was not previously reported), (ii) MT perforation and (iii) pterygoid recess of the maxillary sinus located beneath the pterygopalatine ganglion fossa. The SES thus shortens sagitally the lateral nasal wall but does not modify its morphology. The MT perforation, ST maxillary insertion and the pterygoid recess are rare anatomic variants not reported previously in our knowledge.

Corresponding author: Mugurel Constantin Rusu, Professor, MD, PhD, Dr. Hab.; e-mail:

DOI: 10.47162/RJME.61.1.16 Download PDF