Bony landmarks of the medial orbital wall: an anatomical study of ethmoidal foramina

Maria Piagkou, Georgia Skotsimara, Aspasia Dalaka, Eftychia Kanioura, Vasiliki Korentzelou, Antonia Skotsimara, Giannoulis Piagkos, Elizabeth O Johnson
Clinical Anatomy 2014, 27 (4): 570-7
The study determines the distribution patterns of ethmoidal foramina (EF) evaluate how they are affected by gender or bilateral asymmetry, and highlights the surgical implications on the anatomical landmarks of the orbit. Two hundred and forty-nine dry orbits were assessed. The number and pattern of EF were determined and distances between the anterior lacrimal crest (ALC), anterior (AEF) middle (MEF), posterior (PEF) ethmoidal foramina and between PEF and the optic canal (OC) were measured. The patterns of EF were classified as type I (single foramen) in 4 orbits (1.6%), type II (double foramina) in 152 (61%), type III (triple foramina) in 71 (28.5%), and type IV (multiple foramina) in 22 orbits (16.4%). Two orbits were found with five EF and a single orbit with six EF. A significant gender difference was observed for ALC-AEF distance (P ≤ 0.03), in males 23.53 ± 2.86 (20.67-26.39) versus females 22.51 ± 3.72 (18.79-26.23) mm. Bilateral asymmetry was observed for ALC-AEF distance (P ≤ 0.01). The distances ALC-AEF and ALC-PEF varied significantly according to EF classification (P ≤ 0.03 and P ≤ 0.02). The navigation ratio from ALC-AEF, AEF-PEF, and PEF-OC, in Greek population was "23-10-4 mm". A variation in the number of EF was found, ranging from 1 to 6, with the first report of sextuple EF. Although measures were generally consistent across genders and side, there are significant differences across ethnicities. These findings suggest that surgeons must consider population differences in determining the anatomical landmarks and navigation points of the orbit.

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