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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Mar;271(3):511-8. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2573-2. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Tri-planar computed tomographic projection of three segments of the middle turbinate in a Chinese population.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Third Hospital, Peking University, No. 49, Hua Yuan Bei Lu, HaiDian District, Beijing, China, Haibo7532@sina.com.


To investigate the exact anatomical characteristics and variations of three segments of middle turbinate bones in a Chinese population using Tri-planar computed tomographic (CT) projections. The axial, sagittal, and coronal thin-slice reconstructed CT images of the middle turbinate were obtained from 200 bones of 100 normal adult Chinese subjects (54 males and 46 females). The middle turbinate bones were divided into three segments: vertical, basal lamella, and horizontal. The anterior vertical segment is a sagittal plane best seen on coronal images. Forty-eight bones of the vertical segment were pneumatized on both sides, 14 bones were pneumatized on one side and 21 bones had paradoxical curvature. The distribution of pneumatized concha bullosa bones (based on shape) was as follows: 41 lamellar, 5 bulbous, and 7 extensive types. The basal lamella of the middle turbinate (an L-shaped bony plate) was easily observed on axial and sagittal imaging. On the axial images, the anterior vertical portion of the bones was classified according to shape: 44 linear, 116 curved, and 40 angular. On the sagittal images, it was apparent that most of the horizontal portion was not at a real horizontal plane but on a slope, with an average angle of 127° in the anterior direction. Racial differences may cause the discrepancy between our results and those of other studies. The present study describes the anatomical characteristics and variations of the middle turbinate in the Chinese in Asia, knowledge of which is essential to avoid complications during surgery.

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