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Sagittal View of Left Nasal Cavity

Surgical Correlation


Sagittal view of left nasal cavity. The bony and cartilaginous components of the nasal septum have been removed to visualize the nasal conchae (turbinates) along the lateral nasal wall. The superior and middle turbinates arise from the ethmoid bone while the inferior turbinates are separate bones that articulate with the maxilla. Inferolateral to each turbinate is a meatus or space for air to pass across the mucosa and into which open paranasal sinuses or nasolacrimal duct. The nasal cavity is roofed by the cribriform plate of ethmoid and body of sphenoid. The olfactory bulb rests on this plate and receives the multiple neurofilaments of the olfactory nerve. Olfactory sensory information is transmitted to the olfactory cortex via the olfactory tract. Projecting upward from the cribriform plate is the crista galli to which is attached the falx cerebri. The sphenoid sinus is located within the body of the sphenoid and the internal carotid artery can be seen through its thin lateral wall. The ostia of this sinus open into the sphenoethmoidal recess. The pituitary gland rests within the sella turcica. The dorsum sellae bounds the pituitary gland posteriorly and is the upper part of the clivus, shown here containing the basilar venous plexus.  The pharyngeal tonsils are located in the mucosa of the superior recess of the nasopharynx and are one of four pairs of tonsils in the pharynx. Inferior to the clivus is a sagittal view of the anterior arch of the atlas. Anterior to it is the pharyngeal wall containing pharyngeal constrictor muscles. Posterior to the middle turbinate is the opening of the sphenopalatine foramen communicating the pterygopalatine fossa with the nasal cavity. Septal and posterior lateral nasal branches of the sphenopalatine artery can be seen emerging from the foramen. Posterior to the inferior turbinate is the opening of the Eustachian tube. The maxilla and palatine bones form the hard palate from which extends posteriorly the soft palate. (Image courtesy of AL Rhoton, Jr.)