[Computer-assisted anatomical study of nasofrontal region]

Qin-Tai Yang, Jian-Bo Shi, Zhuang Kang, He-Xin Chen, Tao Wang, Jian-Ting Lü, Geng Xu
Zhonghua Er Bi Yan Hou Ke za Zhi 2004, 39 (6): 349-52

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the value of Advantage Windows 3.1 (AW 3.1) software for anatomical study of nasofrontal region, and to study the CT characteristics of nasofrontal region which related to the frontal sinus surgery.

METHODS: Eighty patients underwent axial consecutive computed tomography scans and these data were studied with AW 3.1 software which provided reconstructional imaging of continuous coronal, sagittal, axial sections. Some related structures of nasofrontal region were studied and measured.

RESULTS: AW 3.1 software could identify and measure the following structures accurately: The diameter of frontal sinus was (22.5 +/- 8.6) mm in height, (16.3 +/- 6.8) mm in depth, (23.8 +/- 9.8) mm in breadth. The diameter of frontal sinus ostium: the anterior-posterior diameter was (7.3 +/- 1.7) mm, the transverse diameter was (8.5 +/- 1.9) mm. The width of nasal beak of frontal bone(5.9 +/- 1.4 ) mm. The distance of frontal sinus ostium to the floor of columella nasi and the corresponding angle to the nasal floor were (60.8 +/- 4.2) mm and (70.1 +/- 4.7) degrees. The superior attachment sites of the uncinate process were as follows: lamina papyracea 41%, posteromedial wall of agger nasi cell 11%, middle turbinate 19%, anterior skull base 16%, superior bifurcation 13%. The cells could impinge on the frontal recess to cause obstruction (terminal recess 38.8%, anterior ethmoid cell 27.6%, agger nasi cells 24.5%). The accessory cells could impinge on the frontal sinus (perifrontal cells 32.7%, superaorbital cells 38.8%, intersinus septal cells 32.0%). There was significant difference between two groups of characteristics of nasofrontal region.

CONCLUSIONS: AW 3.1 software is a helpful and powerful new tool for anatomical study of nasofrontal region and for preoperative evaluation. The structures of nasofrontal region are complex and various, frontal sinusitis almost always results from the obstruction of frontal sinus outflow tract. These results of anatomical study of nasofrontal region are helpful in directing the functional endoscopic surgery in frontal sinus.

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